Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has pledged support for the development of Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria, Iyanomo in Edo.
He gave the pledge when the management of the institute, led by its Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Dr Leila Dango, paid a courtesy visit to his palace on Monday in Benin.
The royal father, who prayed for a successful tenure of office for Dango, however, declined comments on the land encroachment suit between the institute and its host communities, which was brought to his attention.
“We don’t interfere in court processes, but we will do our best always to support such an institution, being on our soil, to promote and develop it.
“We thank you for coming here to introduce yourselves to all of us. We have taken note of all the things you have said.
“May you succeed in your assignment as the CEO; may you have a successful tenure of office,” Oba Ewuare II said.
Earlier, Dango had given the historical background of the institute established over five decades ago and appealed to the traditional ruler to rein in the land grabbers who, she alleged, had ceded a portion of land belonging to the institute.
She further stated that compensation was duly paid to the host communities as at the time the Federal Government acquired the land and established the institute between 1972 and 1973.
The executive director recalled that sometimes ago, some youths from one of the host communities chased away workers of the institute from its farm settlement, claiming that they were not paid compensation. nan.