Anekeode and Obangene families of Ibagwa Nike autonomous community of Enugu East, Enugu State, have sent a Save Our Soul message to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, over alleged expropriation of their land by the traditional ruler, Emmanuel Ugwu.
They alleged that Ugwu is carrying out the act in connivance with a commissioner in the state.
The panic message was sent during a peaceful protest on the land at the weekend. They begged the governor to come to their aid.
Leaders from both families, Ngwu Ikenna and Kelvin Okwor, addressing newsmen after a protest, explained that the land, situated at Ibagwa Nike in Enugu East Local Government, was the subject of a previous government acquisition.
The families had pleaded with the then state government which returned a portion, measuring about 99 hectares, back to them.
They added that their happiness was however cut short, when the traditional ruler, who should protect their communal interest, decided to allegedly connive with ill-meaning state officials in the Ministry of Housing to balkanise the little portion of the land for personal and selfish reasons.
They further alleged that their women had been issued an ultimatum to prematurely harvest and uproot their crops and plants on the said land, as the expropriators intend to level the said piece of land today.
While making the appeal, the community leaders decried the absence of government investment in the area, even after the portion that the state government had earlier taken from them.
“Schools, hospitals or other developmental projects were never sited in our community, only to take over our land again for private use,” the leaders said.
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Efforts to reach the commissioner failed as he did not pick calls put across to his phone.
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