By Jude Atupulazi
The President-General of Nimo Town Development Union, NTDU, Chief Ekenenna Omabu Okafor, says the brouhaha over the status of Owa Land, now known as Obodo Oma Estate, Nimo, has no basis as those farming on the land have always held it in trust for the community as agreed by the town years ago.
The PG was reacting to allegations by some protesters from the community recently in which they accused the leadership of the town of selling Owa Land which they insisted, was communally owned.
But throwing more light on the issue, the PG said that over the years, most Nimo families farmed on portions of the land and held same in trust for the community and that there was never a time Nimo Community assigned any portion of the said land to anyone.
While condemning the protest and those financing it, Chief Okafor, in a press statement titled, ”Ref: Owa-Land (Obodo-Oma) Nimo – Setting the Record Straight”, the PG said the town’s leadership was however happy that the protest did not escalate or result in injury or harm to the people of the town, as, according to him, the leadership of the town had the duty of ensuring peace and security.
Noting that the land was acquired through conquest 200 years ago and bequeathed to the town, he said that the land was a communal property of the citizens of Nimo. He also noted that the decision to develop the land was taken long before the advent of the current traditional ruler and the PG.
He said that the General Assembly of the town approved the plotting and mapping of the Owa-land for development, with a committee comprising representatives from all quarters of Nimo being originally set up to actualize this mandate.
Okafor said that owing to paucity of funds, the initiative became moribund for some time until three years years ago, when under a new leadership, a new committee was reconstituted and given the charter to develop Owa-land, with Chief Peter Afuba (SAN) as chairman and members drawn from all quarters of Nimo.
He said that members of this committee carved out a portion of the Owa Land and renamed it Obodo Oma and had been working to actualize the dreams of Nimo Town.
The committee, he said, had been consulting the Nimo General Assembly at every stage and giving feedback on their progress and getting fresh instructions as well.
Okafor therefore wondered why anyone would come now to derail a project the entire town had deliberated upon and approved, as well as making what he described as unfounded allegations.
‘They have made series of unfounded accusations against the Leaders of Nimo. They have resorted to all kinds of shenanigans and unsavory actions and activities to upstage our institutions. This is evidenced by the celebrated court case, they sought the removal of the traditional ruler. They lost this case and they have now resorted to unjustifiable protests designed to break law and order in Nimo. This group’s desire is unwarranted and untenable,’ the PG said, who also accused them of fighting because of selfish interests.
He said Nimo remained a peace loving town and enjoined the citizens to remain calm while going about their businesses.