By Okey Alozie
Youths from Ama-awom in Owerre Nchi Ise, Owerri Municipal council under the umbrella of Njemanze Royal youths were physically spotted on Thursday, at Control Post, opposite Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, protesting the sale of their communal land which they claimed was allegedly leased to late Eze Abii, who according to them, was the first principal of Holy Ghost College Owerri.
The eldest among the aggrieved youths that stormed Control Post with placards on Thursday morning, Mr Ndubuise Ohiri Njemanze narrated that in the olden days, the land property in question was called Alaubioba (yam farmland)
He said that his fathers and mothers use to farm there and later allegedly leased it to Abii when he was looking for a place to put up a structure for his shelter. He revealed that there was Memorandum Of Understanding (M.O.U), between Abii and the land owners that he will be paying for the lease agreement.
He revealed that at a time, Abii stopped paying as agreed but the land owners did not trouble him because of his ill health as at that particular time, moreover he had been retired from active service.
Ndubuisi who led the youths disclosed that his people were very much surprised to hear that the land which was given out to Eze Abii (late) on lease agreement has been sold without the knowledge of the land owners forcing them to raise questions about how a leased land was sold without the knowledge of the original owner.
He said that they sent a message to the buyer to come and he refused to come for a round table discussion. The leader of group, Prince Frank Njemanze in his own submission declared that Abii family has violated the lease agreement by selling the property in question without contacting true owners “ we want to see who bought our land” Frank Njemanze insisted.
Johnson Iwuji who spoke for the site manager said work started at the site two months ago and he is surprised to see youths coming to order the workers to stop work.
Later, the buyer who introduced himself as an officer in one of the military outfits came to the site and declared that he followed due process while buying, adding that nobody gave him invitation to visit Njemanze family. He regretted why some youths should invade the construction site to order the workers to stop work. He said that the aggrieved youths used palm front to desecrate the place “this is a danger signs” the man said. The police men who came to the site invited both parties to come to New Owerri police station for explanation.