Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 20 June 2016 | 2,649 times
A section of Nawfia community has protested the acquisition of a huge expanse of land along the Enugu/Onitsha Expressway by the Anambra State Government for the construction of a housing estate for retired military officers of Anambra origin, claiming that they were not paid compensation. They also claimed that their economic trees and crops planted on the land had been destroyed in the process of clearing the land.
They called on the state government to intervene in the matter in the interest of justice and fair play as the issue is causing disquiet between some people from Nawfia community, the donor community, and the state Housing Development Corporation.
But armed with documents concerning the 138.686 hectares of the controversial land, including the survey plans and particulars of payments made to the community, the Managing Director of Anambra State Housing Development Corporation, Mr. Patrick Obianwu explained weekend that the land was acquired by the state government on 3rd July, 2001 for a housing estate as part of the development of Awka Capital Territory.
He pointed out that the notice of acquisition was signed after an agreement was reached with Nawfia community, adding that during the administration of the immediate past governor of the state, Mr. Peter Obi, 29 hectares were ceded to the Army under the military post housing services scheme.
According to Obianwu, Nawfia community had in 2007 nominated an Attorney, Gilbert Nwana and Partners, to administer its compensatory sum, adding that all compensation to the community was passed through the attorney as directed by Nawfia community and all payments were supervised by the traditional ruler of Nawfia and other leaders in the community.
In his words; “The total compensatory sum paid was N80.124 million at the then Intercontinental Bank Plc on December 29, 2006. All the interested parties were present and they all signed for their compensatory sums in the presence of everybody present.
“We know it is difficult for people to give up their land, but the present government in Anambra Sate is eager to develop the state. Also, the community leaders in Nawfia at that time agreed to give out the land and it is expected that the present leaders in the area should respect the agreement signed by their elders.
“Nawfia people should embrace peace, submit to constituted authority that is determined to develop modern infrastructure for the good of the state.
“Onitsha and Lagos, for instance, which donated their lands for development many years ago, have not gone into extinction as a result of development of their areas through land acquisition by government and we expect that other communities should emulate the people of Onitsha and Lagos, as well as other communities that donated their lands to government for development purposes.”
•Photo shows Obiano, Anambra state Gov.
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