Owa Land: Nimo Leadership Explains Matters at Town Hall Meeting

By Jude Atupulazi

The leadership of Nimo Town Development Union, NTDU, has laid bare the reasons why the town took the decision to plot and sell a part of land in the community known as Owa Land or Obodo Oma Land. The event which took place at the town’s Egwe Egwe Square, Saturday, May 27, drew a large crowd of the people of the community, with the traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Maxi Ike Oliobi (Eze Oranyelu), the Owelle of Nimo; and the traditional Prime Minister (Onowu), Retired Justice Godwin Ononiba, also present.

The meeting was convoked to douse tensions in the community arising from the demand from a section of the community for clarification on the said land.

The traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Maxi Ike Oliobi, the Owelle of Nimo, in his speech thanked the organisers of the Town Hall Meeting, describing the gathering as necessary in order to address issues that may disrupt peace in the town.

He commended the indigenes of Nimo, especially those in diaspora, for supporting and financing the Civic Centre Project at Egwe Egwe.

In a special way, he thanked Chief Ekenenna Okafor-Omabu

(President General, NTDU), for his initiative and efforts towards bringing the people of the town together for a common cause.

The Onowu, Justice Godwin Ononiba (Rtd), gave a History and ownership of the Owa Land, explaining that Owa used to be a community that was sacked by Nimo many years ago owing to some problems between the two communities.

He said from that moment, 200 years ago, the land became a communal property, with some portions given out to people in trust to farm on, until such a time the community wanted it back.

‘Over the years, most Nimo families farmed on portions of this land and held same in trust for the community. There was never a time Nimo Community assigned any portion of the said land to anyone,’ he explained.

Also, disclosing how plotting and selling of Owa Land began, a member of the community and chairman of the committee set up to supervise the plotting and development of the land, Chief Peter Afuba (SAN), said the  move to develop Owa Land started during the tenure of the previous Owelle of Nimo, Igwe Okafor-Agilo.

His words, ‘The community at a General Assembly Meeting gave approval for the plotting and mapping of the Owa Land for development. A committee, comprising representatives from all quarters of Nimo, was originally set up to actualize this mandate.

‘This initiative went moribund for some time due to lack of funds.  However, about three years ago, under a new leadership, a new committee was reconstituted and given the charter to develop Owa Land. This committee is headed by me (Chief P. A. Afuba) and members from all quarters of Nimo.

‘We, the members of this committee, carved out a portion of the Owa Land and had it renamed as Obodo-Oma. We have been working tirelessly to actualize the dreams of  Ndi Nimo. This committee has consulted Nimo General Assembly at every stage of the development to date, apprising the community of what was going on and seeking approval for the next phase of the project,’ Afuba explained.

He said that the leaders of Nimo had remained focused on serving the people to the best of their ability, describing Nimo as a peace loving town which they intended to keep that way.

A question and answer session followed thereafter, with many commending the leadership of the town for making the effort to enlighten those not conversant with the History of  the land.