Ijaw in Ikoro and the people of Obazuwa in Ovia North East local government area of Edo State have been at loggerheads over claims and counterclaims on the ownership of a piece of land.
The land under dispute is said to be between the Ijaw who are said to be settlers and the Benin the original owners of the area.
The chairman, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) in the Olodiama clan, Sam Ebiwana, alleged that on several occasions the people of Obazuwa had been making efforts to displace residents of the Ikoro community from where he said they had lived for years.
He accused them of disrupting construction work in the area and destroying properties running into several millions of naira at different times.
But reacting to the allegation in a press conference yesterday, the leadership of Benin Solidarity Movement (BSM) disclaimed the Ijaw saying the Benin have been staying in Obazuwa even before 1440 during the reign of Oba Ewuare I.
A leader of the group who is from that community and a son of the late Odionwere (eldest man) of Obazuwa Henry Igbinosu said there is no place called Ikoro but rather Iko which was given to the Ijaw as fishermen to settle which they now corrupted to Ikoro.
He said, “Iko Community is controlled by the Enogie of Obazuwa who is the representative of the Oba of Benin as the Traditional Chief of the locality.
“From history the Ijaw benefited from the large heart of the Oba of Benin who gave them a settlement in their fishing business, but they have now become major land rivals, which they have termed to be their ancestral land.