Enugu Communities Battle Govt Over Land Grabbing, Urge Ugwuanyi to Intervene

By Ikeugonna Eleke

Two communities in Enugu State, Obinagu and Eziachi communities of Ugwuoba, in Oji River Local Government Area, have appealed to the Enugu State governor, Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to intervene in an attempt by a state agency to take their land.

The communities who share a common boundary with Amansea, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, at a press conference in Awka said they were on the verge of being removed from their ancestral land by the Enugu State Housing Development Corporation.

The elders of the Obinagu Village, comprising many aged persons, had first gathered at their village square to curse anyone trying to forcefully take its land, before proceeding to Awka, where they addressed journalists.

96 year-old-old Boniface Igweze, an elder in the community, who spoke on behalf of his people, cried bitterly over plans of the Enugu State Housing Development Corporation to hijack their 88.9 hectares of ancestral land by force.

‘We have restrained our youths from engaging in violence over the ownership of the land because we believe in lawful pursuits and the governor’s understanding and intervention for peaceful resolution.

‘We appeal to Governor Ugwuanyi to call the Enugu State Housing Development Corporation Managing Director, Mr Chimerie Agu, and all his cohorts, to order as their insensitivity has stretched our patience; hence our resolution to hand over the battle to the gods of our land, aside continued pursuit of the case through all lawful means.”

The community appealed to Governor Ugwuanyi to use his good offices to call the Housing Development Corporation to order in the interest of peace, while urging developers who may have benefited from the land to desist from erecting structures on it, to avoid forfeiture.

The community said if after 14 days, Governor Ugwuanyi refuses to intervene as a father and Governor of the state, there may be a breakdown of law and order.

Meanwhile, Eziachi village have also joined in calling on Governor Ugwuanyi to prevail the Enugu State Housing Development Corporation not to collect their land under the guise of developing Ibrahim Abacha Estate?

Attempts to speak to The MD of the development corporation, Mr Agu proved abortive, but a statement credited to him accused few elders of the communities of attempt to frustrate development in the area by inciting others. He urged all to discountenance the protest.