Monday, April 15, 2024

Akwa Ibom communities accuse govt of taking over land without compensation

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Three communities – Anua Offot, Use Offot and Ifa Ikot Okpon – in Uyo Native Authorities Space of Akwa Ibom State, have lamented that the state authorities allegedly reneged on an settlement it entered with them and took over their land with out paying the entire quantity for compensation.

They urged the state authorities to reside upto its promise and pay up the compensation for the land.

Addressing a press convention in Uyo over the weekend, the communities beneath the umbrella of Involved Land House owners, claimed that the state authorities paid solely N13.1 million out of the agreed N100 million compensation.

The president of the group, Mr Energy Anthony, who spoke on behalf of the communities, stated the state authorities with out giving eviction discover, forcefully evicted residents of the world by demolishing homes with home items inside.

He added that the state authorities went forward to trespass to the opposite land (Anyam Farmland) alongside the New Ring Highway 3 to carry out a groundbreaking even when it had agreed to not take over the land.

He stated, “The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pst Umo Eno on Thursday twenty first, March 2024 invaded Anyam Farmland, alongside the New Ring Highway 3, off Oron Highway, Uyo, along with his entourage and carried out groundbreaking on a land that compensation has not been paid.

“It might be recalled that Former Governor Udom Emmanuel determined to intervene within the land matter by formally consulting the land homeowners by way of a letter dated twenty fifth August, 2021.

“It was agreed that One Hundred Million Naira (N100,000,000,00) can be paid.

“However throughout a gathering between the Akwa Ibom State Authorities, and the Involved Land House owners relating to the acquisitions and compensation, the Akwa Ibom State Authorities was represented by the stated Honourable Commissioner for Lands and Water Sources, Pst Umo Eno, who’s now the state governor.

“Pastor Umo Eno, now the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, pleaded with Mr Energy Anthony on behalf of the land homeowners, to obtain solely the sum of Fifteen Million Naira (N15,000,000,00).

“He promised to supply quite a few appointments to land homeowners when he turns into governor if they might settle for the stated Fifteen Million Naira (N15,000,000,00), out of the promised One Hundred Million Naira (N100,000,000,00).

“Subsequently, after signing of an settlement dated seventh January, 22 with caption: Indemnity Bond, between the Akwa Ibom State Authorities, and the Involved Land House owners relating to the donation, the state authorities paid simply the sum of 13 Million, One Hundred and Thirty 5 Thousand Naira (N13,135,000,00), by way of the stated ministry of lands to Land House owners. Not Fifteen Million Naira (N15,000,000,00), as agreed.

“The land homeowners despatched letters to Pastor Umoh however owing to how busy he was in the course of the campaigns, these letters weren’t given acceptable consideration.”

In the meantime, journalists who visited the communities on Monday noticed ruins of demolished buildings which stood on the brand new space taken over by authorities.

A local of Use Offot group, Gabriel Anderson, who additionally spoke with journalists stated, “Authorities by no means negotiated with us on the brand new part. That is impunity. Please, assist us get justice on this.”

When contacted for his response, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Captain Iniobong Ekong (Rtd), denied all of the allegations by the landowners, saying he was not conscious of the event.

“I’m not conscious of it. If you publish it, we might see it. If publishing the report would remedy no matter drawback they declare to have, please go forward and publish it.”

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