We’re not aware of any Land Acquisition pact – Ibesikpo-Asutan Communities to Umo Eno

A cross section of community leaders in 12 villages across Ibesikpo-Asutan Local Government Area have called on Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pst. Umo Eno to wade into what they described as the forceful acquisition of their lands without due consultation with them.

The communities are Nung Ukana Ikot Obio Akpan, Nung Ukana Ikot Efre, Ikot Okubo and their adjourning villages.

Reacting to a newspaper publication which communicated the said acquisition, the community leaders in a communique stated that the process of the said acquisition was opaque, wrapped in secrecy and very suspicious, and that they were never informed, or consulted about the planned acquisition.

Furthermore, they refused the ceding of their lands for any purpose other than agriculture. “…the publication by the government indicated that the lands so acquired would be used for a residential estate, Hon Ubong Attah, member representing Ibesikpo Asutan in AKHA and our clan head, Etebom Nsidibe Etuk, have insisted that a private university will be built on the land”, the communique reads.

They stated that on reading of the planned land acquisition in April 11, 2024, they sought the intervention of the Commissioner for Lands, Captain Iniobong Ekong the following day where they registered their concerns and displeasure.

While extolling the Governor’s virtues and selfless thoughts for people of the State, the community leaders argued that acquiring the lands of people whose major occupation is farming and animal husbandry, to build private structures would plunge them into hunger and widen their poverty gap.

They therefore called on the Governor to intervene speedily on the matter, while suggesting the use of the lands for agricultural purposes, following due consultation with them.

“Given the concerns raised above, we respectfully request that Your Excellency cancel the planned acquisition of our farmlands and investigate those who are attempting to use your name to seize and handover property in our villages to private interests”.

“Given that agriculture is a critical component of the ARISE Agenda, converting our farmland to a residential estate with the current food crisis will be unsettling because many estates previously acquired have not been fully developed. Examples of such acquired and undeveloped estates include Idu Housing Estate, Dakkada Housing Estate, Shelter Afrique, Anua Ifa Housing Estate, Ikot Ambon-lkot Oduot-Eberetu Estate, and Owot Uta-Ikot Ambon-Nnung Ette Estate, among others. The majority of these abandoned estates are already in lbesikpo.

“Instead of using our lands for a private university or other private interest, we request that you use agreed portions to site projects or establish integrated farms that would not only cultivate food to address the country’s lingering food crisis, but also provide jobs for our people in accordance with your ARISE Agenda”, they opined.

Recommended For You

About the Author: nextreporter1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *