Ipoba Hill Muslim community and Edo State Chapter of the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) yesterday staged a protest over the 4 Brigade Nigeria Army’s alleged encroachment on their land at Ipoba Hill area of Edo state.
The protesters marched to the state House of Assembly and the Government House bearing placards proclaiming, ‘Muslim land is for worship, it is not for sale,’ ‘Leave our land, it is not for sale,’ ‘Governor Godwin Obaseki, arrest religious unrest in Edo State.”
In a protest letter to the governor signed by the community’s Chief Iman, Alhaji Umar Ahmed, Chairman Alhaji Jimoh Kasali, Secretary General, Alhaji Alama Danesi (ESQ) and FOMWAN Amirah Hjia Maimuna Momodu, the protest groups said the land the army encroached on was allocated to them in 1995 with a valid Certificate of Occupancy by the Edo state government and signed by the then military administration Col. Basil Asuquo.
They said FOMWAN built a nursery and primary school in the land but effort to establish a secondary school was disrupted by the officers of the 4 Mechanized Brigade, Nigeria Army who are claiming ownership of the land.
Responding, the Public Relations Officer of the 4 Brigade, Nigeria Army, Benin, Muhammed Maidawa described the allegations as baseless.
“There is no iota of truth in the allegation. The Army is not giving individual land to anybody. Ipoba Hill Barrack is a very old army barack in Benin known to everyone.”