The Delta State Government on Friday said it has taken note of the breakdown of law, order and breach of the peace in some communities bordering the Okpe-Urhobo (Ukpe-Sobo) forest reserve over claims of ownership of the land comprising the reserve and is taking appropriate measures to contain the situation.
In a statement signed by the Secretary to the Delta State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah, said the state government, through its White Paper on the Report of the Judicial Panel of Enquiry into the Okpe-Urhobo (Ukpe-Sobo) Forest Reserve and other Ancillary Matters Relating to the De-Reserved Portion(s) and Encroachment on the Reserve, accepted the following key recommendations among others:
(i) Structures within the Forest Reserve constructed without Government approval should be removed.
(ii) DSLN No. 11 of 1996, de-reserving 200 acres to Otonyasere Community should be amended by inserting a survey description to determine the portions of the Forest Reserve that fall within the 200 acres de-reserved to the community.
(iii) CEDDI Corporation Limited should return to the portion of land covered by the original Instrument, which de-reserved 1,200 hectares to Sapele-Okpe community.
According to the statement, the implementation of the Government White Paper, including the recommendations is imminent.
It urged all persons, families and communities involved in the matters relating to the Okpe-Urhobo (Ukpe-Sobo) Forest Reserve Areas in the interest of peace and stability to cease all hostilities and maintain law and order.