Encroachment: Ogba Zoo Management seeks Oba, Edo govt. intervention

Management of Ogba Zoo, on Thursday appealed to the Edo State government to set up an investigative panel to look into the destruction of the Zoo Staff Quarters, and the conversion of it land for private development by members of the Edo State House of Assembly.

The Management also called on the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II intervention to wade into into the issue of land grabbers in the Zoo.
Chief Executive, Ogba Zoo and Nature Park, Mr. Andy 0sa Ehanire made the appeal while briefing newsmen about the recent development in the park in Benin City.

He said about 320 hectacres of lands had been encroached on.

Ehanire said the allegation levelled against the Management of the Park that some animals in the Zoo have been sold off was not true adding that such allegation could hamper the development of tourism in the state.

He said the trading off of animals in the Park by it Management as alleged by the State House of Assembly was to intimidate them (Management of the Park) because they have earlier instituted a court case against the House of Assembly for encroaching into their land and destroying their buildings.

"This charge against the Zoo Management coming from the House, so soon after, we initiated this Court action. It gives the impression that it is designed to intimidate the Zoo Management and dissuade it from pursuing a legitimate legal action in the public interest."

" Since the Zoo Management is currently in Court, with some principal officers of the House of Assembly, in their individual capacities on account of the demolition of the Zoo's staff quarters. We are tempted to believe that, this spurious petition. It has raised is an attempt to victimize and initimidate the Zoo management from its right of seeking legal redress in overriding public interest. ", he said.

On his part, the Technical Director\ Consultant to Ogba Zoo, Tony Oregbeme also appealed to the 0ba of Benin, the state government and other private individuals and stakeholders to come to their aid.

He equally conducted newsmen around the premises where those principal officers of Edo State Assembly demolished and where other private individuals encroached on too.

He said the Zoo that used to have 53 square kilometers of land had been reduced to 12 square kilometers of land.

In a related issues, the Association of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria (ATPN), in a release entitled: " Tourism is Under Attack in Edo State," issued by its National President, Kabir Malan, said the on-gonig crisis between the management of Ogba Zoo, in Benin and the state lawmakers over the land where the zoo is located, that the unlawfull act must not be allowed to continue unchecked.

He said because of this ugly activity, some of the buildings within the land is being used for personal development to the deteriment of the rich forestry assets, and the wildlife enclosures, lamented that the Zoo is being reduced to a pitiable size.
Encroachment: Ogba Zoo Management seeks Oba, Edo govt. intervention Encroachment: Ogba Zoo Management seeks Oba, Edo govt. intervention Reviewed by getitrightnigerians on 16:01:00 Rating: 5

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