ANOTHER OPEN LETTER TO THE COMRADE GOVERNOR

His Excellency the Comrade Governor.
Edo State Government,
Benin City
Your Excellency,
FURTHER HORRIFIC DESTRUCTION OF OGBA ZOO INFRASTRUCTURE / NATURE PARK: ANOTHER OPEN LETTER TO THE COMRADE GOVERNOR 
Following series of incursions and destruction of the Ogba Zoo forestry assets and infrastructure by Community land grabbers from Utagban and Ogbaneki, we had cause to cry out to your exalted Office, via an open letter. In your decisive manner, the State Executive Council came up with official pronouncements in the media, expressing Government’s determination to deal with the issues, which include dislodging all manner of encroachments and the delineation and survey of the Zoo land.
2. However, after nearly six months with none of the actions promised being carried out by Government, the paucity of action appears to have invited another round of the most horrific destruction of any Zoo in the country. The latest incursions began by unleashing of arson, in which the errant land grabbers set fire across different sections of the Zoo that destroyed over 70 % of the assets, followed by further use of bulldozers as we speak.  
3. In view of the extant mantra of “finishing well”, the Ogba Zoo Management is inclined to engaging the above critical issues that would add to the immense legacies of the Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole Administration. This is particularly relevant since the Zoo is the foremost tourism facility in the State and also remains the only major Private-Sector led pioneering venture in eco-tourism in the country, under PPP.
4. With the Ogba zoo already a proven case-study in sustainability – operating without any financial burden on Government, the imminent harsh economic conditions that have befallen the country are adjudged a major threat to the survival of Zoos, especially if the above issues hindering the development of Ogba Zoo are not timeously addressed.
5. Your Excellency Sir, alb initio, it was the expectation that these issues being sufficiently grave, would warrant a Panel of Enquiry being set up by Government to unravel the seemingly intractable nature of this encroachment saga. So far, some of the culprits arrested at the many illegal construction sites on the zoo land, alleged representing House of Assembly members and other Government officials who they claim are beneficiaries of a purported sharing of the Zoo land.
6. So far, all those arrested in connection with these destructive incursions and illegal land development were mysteriously set free without prosecution, to continue their dastardly acts. This is to the extent that the expansive purpose-built lion enclosure across the river was not only destroyed, but now surrounded with illegal building sites. In fact, the audacity and antics of the land grabbers, as well as the persisting waves of encroachment, including the levels of their facilitation with official documents, are indicative of deep conspiracies and treachery by those who do not care if Edo State is buried in shame.
7. As at today, a security escort vehicle belonging to the State House of Assembly with plain clothes men was sighted giving protection to the operations of the bulldozer working on the Zoo land. We have long been carrying the discomfort of appearing to be crying more than the bereaved, which has attracted all manner of threats to our persons and investments, being tenants to the State Government in respect of the Zoo.    
7. In conclusion Sir, we are confident of your forthright and incisive approach to issues and thus remain hopeful of your enforcing the extant State EXCO resolutions  in this regard expeditiously.
While thanking you most sincerely in anticipation of your quick response, please remain assured of our highest esteem.
 
Andy O. Ehanire
DIRECTOR / CE
Copy:
INTERNAL ACTION
1. Hon. Commissioner for Environment & Utilities.
2. Hon Commissioner for Lands and Survey.
3. Hon. Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice.
5. Secretary to the State Government.
EXTERNAL ACTION
 Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command.  
EXTERNAL INFORMATION
1. Hon. Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly.
2. Gentlemen of the Press.

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