Edo state government has appointed the immediate past Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase chairman, task force for the implementation of the Edo state anti- Community Development Association law.
Governor Godwin Obaseki made the disclosure at the signing of the community development association bill into law in government house, Benin-City.
Obaseki said the task force was constituted to drive the enforcement of the law and supervise all matters related to the law.
“A task force chaired by a retired Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase has been constituted to drive the enforcement of the law and supervise all matters related to the law. I urged the Chief Judge of the state and security agencies to support the implementation of the law in the state”, he said.
The State House of Assembly had last month passed the anti- community development association bill prescribing a jail term of 10 years and an option of N2 million fine among other penalties against anybody that violate the law.
The governor who pointed out that many of the youths, who would be affected by the Bill, would be empowered urged members of the public to be familiar with the provisions of the law and abide by them.
He added that ignorance of the law is no excuse.
The governor who however presented a copy of the law to the Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare II said the law prohibited forceful and illegal occupation of landed property by Community Development Associations (CDAs) in Edo.
He said the monarch had in his coronation speech decried the land grabbing menace that had characterized the Community Development Associations (CDAs).
He noted that speech which highlighted the negative effect of land acquisition and development by citizens and investors in the state called for a law to scrap out their activities in the state.
Obaseki who said the law also protected widows’ rights to their husbands’ property.opined that the bill was historical and would make the state more receptive to investors and set it on course for more development.
“My administration believes that the way to sustainable development is to unleash and nurture our productive energy and that of investors. Investment will not thrive in a lawless environment, it is a thing of pride that we signed this bill into law”, he said.
In his remarks, the Benin monarch said the new law signified a major milestone both in the Obaseki-led administration and his reign.
The monarch commended the state governor and members of the state House of Assembly for their swiftness in the passage of the Bill into law.
The Oba who attributed the timely assenting to the bill as the governor’s readiness to develop the state however assured that the youths that will be affected by the law would be rehabilitated and empowered.
“I want to say that today is historical and I am personally overwhelmed. I was really upset with the activities of CDAs in the state. I saw the need to tackle the issue of CDAs as their actions became destructive. The governor bought into the idea and decided to draft a bill to criminalise their activities. I want to commend him for this step as many people expressed doubts about his willingness to work with the palace, but he has dispelled such fears”, he stated.