The Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare II has ordered the immediate suspension of Community Development Associations (CDAs) in all the seven local government areas of Edo State which constitute the Benin Kingdom.
All land matters would henceforth be adjudicated by the Oba or through the Enogie or Edionwere and no longer through Community Development Associations.

The seven local government areas of the Benin Kingdom are Oredo (capital), Egor, Ikpoba Okha, Uhunmwode, Orhionmwon, Ovia South West and Ovia North East local government areas.

The Oba, who is the paramount ruler over the Edo South District of Edo state, has traditional right over all native lands in the kingdom, especially lands that falls outside the rights of the governor under the Land Use Act.

For many decades the Oba was in charge of adjudicating on land disputes throughout the district. But in recent times, especially since the advent of democracy in 1999, there had been a proliferation of so-called community development associations led by mostly thugs instead of community elders or true members of the community.

These so-called community development associations are not known to grade roads, control erosion or provide security for the community but they collect dues in hundreds of thousands of naira and oftentimes trouble land developers preventing them from developing lands through violence and intimidation.

Many of the CDAs are notorious for selling lands to more than one persons thereby creating lots of land ownership crisis in the state. Also they levy developers of lands all sorts of illegal and unaccounable levies which makes development of property in Benin frustrating and unattractive.

The pronouncement Sunday by the Benin monarch has elicited jubilation throughout Edo with many residents of Benin City hailing the decision as one of the best pronouncements since his ascension to the ancient throne.

Barr Abraham Oviawe, a civil rights activist and resident of Benin City hailed the decision at Agenda Setting forum saying “Great. Peace will reign in communities now”

Mr Austen Ehiguese said “The great Oba has just started well, God will bless him for us”

However many community development associations leaders, many of whom are leaders of a certain political party in Edo State, have started to murmur in hushed tones but in Benin the Oba’s word is law to a very large extent.



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