Edo denies report alleging seizure of burrow pits from Benin monarch

The Edo State Government has denied report alleging seizure of burrow pits from the Benin monarch.

State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare in a statement on Wednesday, said: “Our attention has been drawn to a spurious, incredibly ridiculous, and misleading report by an online news platform, infopower.ng purporting that Governor Godwin Obaseki, seized burrow pits in Obagie N’ Evbosa, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state, from the Benin monarch.

“Nothing can be farther from the truth. The hogwash is a figment of the writer’s imagination in a desperate and futile attempt to hoodwink the people and tarnish the image of the governor and the very cordial relationship between our revered monarch and the governor.

“The writer is another hireling of the defeated, defanged, and disgruntled politicians, who are angered that Governor Obaseki has denied them access to the people’s treasury and have now embarked on conspiracy theories and campaigns of calumny to incite Edo people, undermine peace and safety in the state in a desperate move to get back at the governor.

“To put the records straight, the illegal activities at the burrow pit in Obagie N’ Evbosa, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state were discovered during the State Executive Council visit to CORAL City, which is being developed by the state government to decongest Benin City.

“The illegal pit where the operators carry out their activities is part of the Coral City.

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“Before the Council’s visit to the area, the state government had in a public announcement urged operators to restrict their mining activities to burrow pit sites approved by the government.

“The environmental degradation consequential to illegal mining are enormous and must be frowned at.

“The illegal activities of the operators at the site pose a serious threat to the lives and properties of residents of communities in the area.

“It is irresponsible for a news website to fabricate stories and publish lies as a story with the intent to pitch the Benin Royal Palace against the Edo State Government.

“Inforpower.ng has 24-hours to retract the report or the state government will have no option but to commence legal actions against the news website,” the statement added.

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