Chinedu Okwu, member representing Aninri Constituency, in Enugu State House of Assembly, has called on the state government to urgently intervene in the alleged invasion and destruction of houses and farmlands by some communities in Ebonyi State.
Okwu, who made the call in a petition submitted to the House during plenary in Enugu on Thursday, listed the communities as Uburu, Akaeze and Ishiagu communities in Ebonyi.
He said that land grabbers from the three communities were claiming part of Aninri land, in spite of the obvious boundary features, adding that “they could not render any sustainable account of such claim.
“We complain in tears, about the unwarranted invasion, killing and maiming of our people by the three communities in Ebonyi, Uburu, Akaeze in Ohaozara and Ishiagu in Ivo Local Government Areas respectively, that share common boundary with us.
“Shortly after their kinsman, His Excellency Mr David Umahi, became the governor of Ebonyi, they returned to our land with much more force and a new turn of claim.
“Initially, they were making individual claims of ownership of different parts of our land but now, they claim and act for and on behalf of Ebonyi government.
“They forcefully re-enter with tractors bearing the inscription, Ebonyi Government and destroyed our cassava, yam and rice farms respectively, spanning about 100 hectares and deforested our popular Egu-Nkwo, which over the years used to be the major source of our timber business,” he said.
The lawmaker alleged that Ebonyi government had entered into agreement with a Chinese company for mining activities of the Led and Silicon deposits in the land.
“The company just started getting the revenue and other benefits accruable from the mining, which is supposed to be for Enugu State, and now is being enjoyed by the Ebonyi government.
“Our people are dying in pains, the thought of watching helplessly another state driving us out of our land and taking over by force our source of livelihood, when we also have a state government, is quite unbearable”, Okwu lamented.
Reacting, the Speaker, Ubosi urged the Deputy Governor, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, to dialogue with her counterpart in Ebonyi, to resolve the land encroachment issue amicably.
The House thereafter adjourned to June 11 for further legislative activities.