Posted by News Express | 19 September 2018 | 1,415 times
The Uvwie Community in Delta State has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over what they described as Nigerian Army’s refusal to obey Presidential order to return their ancestral land it has illegally acquired.
Addressing a press briefing recently in Warri, Chief V. E. Otomiewo, the lead counsel to the Uvwie Community, expressed disgust that the army authorities refused to return the occupied land despite the directives of the court, Mr. President and the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions to them to do so.
Otomiewo warned that the relative peace enjoyed in the Warri axis of the Niger Delta had been threatened as the Uvwie people have exhausted their patience for the authorities of the Nigerian Army to obey the National Assembly order of March 29, 2018, and the Presidential order of June 25, 2018.
Otomiewo said the people were ready to resist what he described as the continued illegal acquisition and occupation of Uvwie land by the Army authorities under the control of Lt. General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff, whom they alleged have refused to obey the National Assembly and Presidential orders.
Chief Otomiewo asserted that since Nigerian Army authorities have refused to vacate the land, the Uvwie people were left with no option than to resort to square up with the Army.
Chief Otomiewo recalled that sometime in December 2017 and January 2018, the Uvwie people took their agitations for the release of their land by the Army authorities to the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, and they were able to make a case to the committee for the release of their land, as the Army high command was unable to produce a single document to establish the Army’s continued to hold on the land of the Uvwie people under the guise of a supposed acquisition.
Otomiewo said, “In June 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Army High Command to stop the selling of the land of the Uvwie people to private developers. But instead of adhering to the President’s order, the Army High command had been persistent in their activities for selfish reason.”
He disclosed that recently, the Army invaded Ohorhe Town, an Uvwie Community sharing boundary with the land supposedly acquired by the Army and planted several signposts with the inscription,” ARMY LAND, KEEP OFF.”
He alleged that the military authorities have concluded plans to invade the town and pull down every structure with a view to plot out the lands for sale to private developers through the instrumentality of the Nigerian Army Properties Limited, a company incorporated by the Army authorities with Gen. Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, as one of its directors.
However, all efforts to speak with the Army Public Relations office were not successful as repeated calls on their cell phone got no response.
• Excerpted from a Daily Independent report
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