The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, met with the Christian community in the state, including the Pentecost Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), to seek the collaboration of Christians and churches toward the realization of the Benin Master Plan and the Edo Regional Development Plan.

Obaseki, at an interactive session/stakeholders’ meeting with the organizations, at the Government House, Benin City, said his government will sustain reforms to improve the livelihoods of the people.

The governor said his administration has declared war on land grabbers in the state. He noted that working together with other stakeholders, including all security agencies, the government will ensure a safe and conducive environment for people to live and do business without harassment and extortion.

He said, “We have declared a complete war on land grabbers in the state. With the support of the Inspector General of Police, we are building trucks with guns and a barrack that will contain 100 men. We are working with the Private Property Protection Committee to come up with a list of petitions which is about 420. We will address all and ensure we end land grabbing in the state.”

The governor further added, “We can’t continue in the way we have gone in the past, where people build indiscriminately in the state, blocking waterways and causing erosion across the state. We want to create a culture of planning. We owe it to the people to set a path to the future of the state. It’s on us to build the system and the people to own it, long after we leave office.”

Obaseki noted that the stakeholders’ meeting is important because of the role of the Christian Community in driving development in the state.

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He urged, “Churches must join us to correct the ills going on today and we need to start reordering the planning of the state.”

Earlier, Chairman of PFN in Edo State, Evang. Mrs. Margaret Agbonifo assured the governor that churches in the State will key into the Benin Master Plan and Edo Regional Development Plan to ensure development in the state.

She said, “Churches have fallen prey to land grabbers in the past and that has affected churches in terms of building plans as they face disputes when developing the properties.

“We have had a meeting with the churches under PFN in the state and we all have agreed to key into the plan by ensuring we all register our churches. We are ready to submit our building plans but appeal to the governor to approve such plans.”

Also, the Chairman of Edo CAN, Bishop Oyenude Kure promised the support of Christians to ensure sustainable development in the state.

On her part, Commissioner for Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development, Isoken Omo, noted, “CAN is important to the project as the state knows you are a key influencer within the state and beyond. We are here to intimate you on what is going on and get your input because the impact of the master plan will benefit all.”