Leave Our Lands Alone, Mbaitoli Communities Tell Rochas

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By samson orji
Umuodu-Mbieri and Umuodagu-Mbieri people owners of the land linking Orji- Mechanical village and Amakohia Area of about 15 hecters of land have cried out to the state Governor Rochas Okorocha to leave their lands alone.
Land owner numbering about 30 were yesterday seen at the affected area, carrying different placards in protest against illegal and forceful acquisition of their lands with inscriptions like “Okorocha leave our land for us, you want to turn your Government to military Dictatorship, we are in Democracy”.
“We voted you in, But now you want to kill us, leave our land alone”,
“Governor Okorocha wants to link our land to his private property in SPIBAT”, the placards read.
Speaking to Trumpeta, one of the land owners Mbaonu Desmond who claimed he bought his 3 plots of land in the area in 2001 said they started noticing the encroachment about one month and three weeks ago and when they reported the matter to the ministry of lands, the ministry said they were not aware but in a twist, the Governor sent his inlaw Uche Nwosu the then commissioner for lands asking them to produce their C of O and power of Attorney for compensation and relocation.
He however stated that, they were astonished that after some of them submitted the documents, the former commissioner for lands who promised to see them last Friday failed to do so only for them to discover that the entire area is being fenced by Okorocha.
Desmond further noted that some of the indigenes whose crops were destroyed were given peanuts of about N30,000 which according to him they don’t understand if it’s for the lands or for their destroyed farm produce.
Also speaking another victim, Sir N.A Nonyelim an indigene of Anambra State stated that the non indigenes whose lands were affected are about 22 and are afraid that once the area is fenced, it will become Okorocha’s personal property having acquired some part of SPIBAT area.
“My brother I have 31/3 plots of land here which I bought in 1989 from the indigenes and now Okorocha said he wants to use it as a park, “Sir Nonyelim lamented.
In his own statement, Marcel Amakonwu Emezie, an indigene of Umuodu-Mbieri who owns about 51/2 plots revealed that the area which belongs to Umuodu and Umuodagu Mbieri people do not in any way belong to the government adding that Okorocha’s move is undemocratic and inhuman while also noting that about 5 of them who are civil servants collected Christmas funds and loans to buy their lands hoping to develop them in the future cos.
Meanwhile, the Technical Assistant to the commissioner of lands Mr Obinna who according to him was sent by the commissioner pleaded with the angry land owners to allow the workers continue work urging them to try and see the Director of lands to enable them claim their papers for their new lands as they have been relocated to at Akachi, Somachi and New market areas.
But the land owners unanimously asked that the commissioner should with the Director of lands meet with them which was scheduled for today.