Tension in Awka as Monarch, community bicker over land acquired by govt.; 97-year-old leads protest

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 16 July 2016 | 2,594 times

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Tension is mounting in Awka, the Anambra State capital, as a section of the town is accusing the traditional ruler, Obi Gibson Nwosu of encouraging youths to disrupt the legitimate efforts of the state government to upgrade infrastructure in the area.

The land is said to have been acquired by the state government several years ago, originally for the construction of a golf course in the town, but an attempt by the state government to flag off the construction of a housing estate in the area met the resistance of some Awka youths from the monarch’s village, on the allegation that the land was not properly acquired.

It was later learnt that the royal father was in support of the protesting youths whose action led to the suspension of the flag off of the housing scheme by the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano.

However, at a news briefing in Awka on Friday, the people of Ezioka, one of the three communities that owned the land, wondered why the traditional ruler and the people of his Amikwo village, along with Agulu village, should be claiming ownership of the said land several years after government had paid compensation to the three communities.

The group led by the oldest man in the community, 97 –year old Chief Patrick Nwachukwu, the people of Ezioka said that when the golf course project failed, the state government reacquired it and paid the necessary compensation to the three villages, adding that there was no reason for anybody to stop government from executing its housing project on the land which it properly acquired.

The statement by the community read, “The state government paid us in 2007 and that is why we are surprised that Amikwo and Agulu Awka communities, who signed for their money in our presence, would turn around to disrupt government project.

“It is clear that our traditional ruler was not properly informed, or that he did not have full grasp of the history of ownership of land within Awka metropolis. The truth is that government acquired the land and paid compensation on crops and economic trees after due verification exercise of the ownership to which Ezioka participated and was paid without any objection by the other two quarters.

“The government of Anambra State cannot be deceived by anybody, no matter how highly placed. We are also not unmindful of the past mischief by some people in Awka, who illegally went into government land, sold same to unsuspecting public and later turned back to the same government to regularise their irregularity.”

•Photo shows Awka Monarch, Gibson Nwosu.


Source: News Express

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