There is tension in the Illushi community, Esan South East local government area of Edo State over the alleged killing of some youths by soldiers allegedly brought to the community by a company said to be venturing into agriculture in the area.
They also accused one Samuel Offor of allegedly leasing 5,000 hectares of their land to the company identified as Skaff Agro Farms Limited without the consent of the people and that he did that while a traditional rulership tussle was still pending in court.
Reacting to the allegations of the Killing of Youths by Soldiers, Offor said he knows nothing about the killings and that the people have been fighting him over his properties just as the Managing Director of the company, Anthony Skaff debunked all the allegations levelled against him and his company.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer, 4 Brigade Nigeria Army, Major Ojo Adenegan ended the call immediately after the subject matter was introduced and did not pick repeated calls.
But speaking with newsmen yesterday on the incident, the Youth leader of Illushi, Mr Lucky Chibogwu said the incident happened on 13th of April 2021 at about 3 pm when he said soldiers came into the community, shooting, beating up people, and leaving three persons dead.
Corroborating the account, Pa Richard Aghedo said on a fateful day, “A truckload of soldiers came into our community and started shooting and beating everybody before we knew it, three persons were shot dead, even till now four of our youths are still missing. We didn’t do anything, we didn’t fight them.
“Skaff Company announced its presence in the community with brute force and I don’t care attitude. They started by destroying communal shrines, homes, and farms of community members. As farms and homes were going down by Skaff’s bulldozers, including 100s of acres of pawpaw, banana, plantain, and palm plantations were also destroyed.
“The community through its lawyer at the time approached the court seeking an injunction restraining Skaff from carrying on activities on the land in question pending when the dispute is resolved.