Agwu Communities Threaten To Shut Down Firm Over Land Compensation | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Agwu Communities Threaten To Shut Down Firm Over Land Compensation

Posted: May 26, 2015 at 1:17 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Emmanuel Nzomiwu  – Enugu


Two communities in the Awgu Local Government area of Enugu State have threatened to shut down operations of an Enugu based Mexican Company, San Carlos Pineapple Farm, over delay in payment of compensation for their land by the state government.

The communities issued the threat during a peaceful protest to the Government House in Enugu.

The protesters who were about 500 in number, carried placards with inscriptions such as, `All our farmlands have been taken’; `Our cash crops were destroyed without compensation’; `Government pay us our compensation due to us’; `San Carlos must go’; ‘Stop this nepotism, our people are dying’, among others.

Presenting their grievances, leader of the protesters, Mr Clifford Orji, regretted that compensation for the destruction of their cash crops on the land leased to the pineapple company was yet to be paid three years on.

According to him, proceeds from the sale of crops from that farmland was their means of livelihood but since it was taken away from them for the pineapple farm, they have been suffering and their children are no longer going to school.

Orji listed their destroyed cash crops worth over N10 million to include palm fruits and palm kernels, pineapples, cassava and yam.

“We have come here to protest about our compensation. San Carlos Farm in conjunction with the state government took over our land and promised to pay us for our crops on the land.

“We are not dragging the land because land belongs to government but what we are asking for is our due compensation.  “We have done enumerations of our destroyed crops and were instructed to open accounts with Keystone Bank which we did but since then, we have not heard anything from the government.

“This administration is coming to an end and we have not been paid,’’ Orji said.

Addressing the protesters, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Sullivan Chime on Inter Party Relations and Conflicts Resolution, Dr Chris Asadu, said the coming of the farm into the state was in the best interest of citizens.

According to him, government would liaise with the state Ministry of Agriculture to fashion out ways to solve the issue.

“We will investigate to know how far the government has gone with the process of the payment. Government is not going, it continues.