Non-Development Of Oba Airport Site, Source of Friction, Says Community | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Non-Development Of Oba Airport Site, Source of Friction, Says Community

Governor of Anambra State, Oba International Airport, Obiano
Posted: Jul 6, 2016 at 6:32 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chukwujekwu Ilozue

Awka – Oba community in Idemili South Local Council Area of Anambra State has blamed non-development of the land donated to Anambra State government for the Oba International Airport as the main source of acrimony that sparked off last week’s protests by youths of the community.

The piece of land donated for the project, which never took off, had been encroached upon by some members of the community especially youths and had been main source of misunderstanding which occasioned protest last week.

The community through the traditional ruler, Igwe Peter Ezenwa, and other elders of the community told the press that the land in question was still the property of the state until government properly returns it to the community.

Besides, they said that they still await proper handover of the 25 per cent of the failed airport land to the community as promised by the state government in the agreement between the community and government.

The community had earlier raised the alarm that land speculators were using some officials of the Anambra State Ministry of Lands without the knowledge of Governor Willie Obiano to illegally acquire land from the youths at give away prices of N150,000 to N200,000 and turn back to sell them between N2.5 million to N3 million.

Igwe Ezenwa who expressed sadness that the government has not redeemed its agreement to return 25 per cent of the land to the owners since the airport project was cancelled, and for the remaining part of the land to be used for industrial park and other projects which the community was yet to agree with the state government.

He lamented, “while the community is waiting for the government to perfect the allocation documents to the community for the onward return to the land owners, land speculators masquerading as developers in connivance with some idle youths in the community are selling the land.

“We have written letters to the state government requesting to know their position on the current situation on the land but we have not received any reply.  Since April this year, we sent letters, my own and that of the President General of the community, Chief Ifeatu Uzowulu.

Chief Ifeatu Uzowulu, President General of Oba community, on his part appealed to Governor Willie Obiano to prevail on the state Ministry of Lands to stop further buildings on the land by land speculators and the youths to avoid further clash between youths who are opposed to what they are doing.

“Government should live up to its responsibility, if they have relinquished the land to the owners, they should make it clear instead of allowing land speculators to take over the land at the expense of the owners of the land who may not even be among the youths who are selling parts of the land,” he said.

Sir Noel Ezenwa, former Deputy Gubernatorial candidate of National Democratic Part (NDP), alleged that the land speculators and the youths were having their way in the bizarre business because some members of the Igwe’s cabinet are involved in the worrisome business of unlawful selling of the cancelled airport project land.

“The government said it acquired the land for overriding public interest, but the land is now being acquired for individual interests and we are asking the government to tell us their stand and position in the land, and if they are still holding on to the land, why are individuals now buying the land for personal use?” he queried.