Attract development to us, not crisis, Ebonyi community begs Umahi

The people of Amagu community, Ishiagu in Ivo Local government Area of Ebonyi State has urged Governor David Umahi, to call his aides from their area to order over flagrant abuse of court orders.

According to them, the political appointees from the area have failed to attract development like other communities in the state instead they are busy attracting crisis.

Some community leaders made the appeal on behalf of the community while granting an interview with Nigeria Tribune correspondent on Friday,

The Community leaders lamented the development whereby few aides of the governor in the area appropriated the community land for themselves, leveraging on purported executive orders issued by Governor Umahi in total disregard to Court rulings prohibiting them from the land.

The land in contention is a Community land which onus rests on all stakeholders to decide what use it should be put into.

Meanwhile few political appointees of the Governor in the area had attempted to covet the land for their personal uses but were resisted by the community people.

The entire episode had resulted in a legal dispute in which the Court ruled against the few individuals with an order to desist from the land.

However, following the political situation in the state occasioned by the defection of Governor Umahi to the All Progressives Congress and its resultant attack on major political gladiators who chose to remain in PDP, the Governor’s Aides took the advantage to foment crises in the Community by stepping again into the land in spite of the existing court orders.

According to the community leaders, it has become clear that the Governor was using his Aides from the area, chief among whom is his Commissioner for Information, Uchenna Orji to instigate crises to spite the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim and other political heavyweight s from the area who refused to decamp with him.

Narrating the development, the Amagu Ishiagu Development Union Chairman, Mr Livinus Uka explained that the land belonged to the entire community and not to any individual, adding that it was wrong for very few individuals to dictate for the community.

His words “the land in question is just a general land of the community. Now because our homes are increasing, we decided to make that community land a home settlement.

“The people living in the land knows that the land is community land and they do perform a kind of rate to show that they are not the original owners of the land,

The few individuals took us to court in January but on 17 November 2020, the court struck out the case to our favour for lack of merit.

“All of a sudden, this People again started destroying the beacons the community planted in the land, running to the government because of the political crisis in the state so that government will use their power to support their undesirable plans.

“One of them had issued us with Appeal notice which assumed that the case is still in court.”

Uka lamented that the once peaceful community has been turned into a crises zone by the actions of the few politicians, and urged Government appointees to desist from using their privileged positions to intimidate the people.

“This is a misunderstanding in the community where some people think that they can do anything they like in the community.

“They are just trying to stop what the community is doing and I pray to God to help them realize that there is no gain in crisis and align themselves in what the community is doing and stop accusing fingers on an innocent person because they want to attract a public sympathy from anybody.

“The struggle is for the interest of the whole community and no individual has a hand in it.

“Anyone involving Senator Anyim Pius Anyim is doing so to attract sympathy for himself because Anyim is a big figure in the country.

“The land is a farm settlement but now the community want to share it that every family will have a portion and it took the community 20years, to get the actual figure of the community so that every family will be accommodated.

“I urge those in government to stop using government to intimidate the common people in order to gain what they were not to get.” He said

Corroborating the story, the Chairman Ovumute Land Committee, the village where the land is domiciled, Mr Chinedu Makwe, maintained that there was no crisis in the community.

He, however, stated that the problem was from a few individuals who were claiming that the community land belonged to them.

Makwe added: “We only have problem with some individuals in the community that claimed that the community land belongs to them and went to court, and on the basis of that, the court gave us (community) judgement on November 17, 2020.

“After the judgement, these people did not go to appeal with the stipulated 2weeks and that is clear that they don’t have any more claim to the land but because they are Ebonyi state government employees, they are trying to use the political situation in the state now and turn our community to a war zone but by the grace of God, it will not work.

” This group of people are the ones inciting problem, creating tension where there are not.

“We are telling them that we need development like other communities. We don’t want a crisis. They should attract development for us and not a crisis.

” We also urge the state government not to put a crisis where there is none. That is all we plead.”

Earlier the Stakeholders of the community had replied the petition against them which they titled “Gross Abuse of Rule of Law by Ebonyi State Government”, made available to our correspondent.

The stakeholders had drawn the attention of appropriate authorities to the brewing crises in the area which they alleged was being sponsored by the State government.

They described the development as both worrisome, and a strategic plan to introduce the recent Effium, Ohaukwu kind of crises which claimed scores of lives in Ishiagu, Ivo Local government area.

Part of the reply to the petition read: “It is worrisome that the Ebonyi State Government neglected the standing court order and reordered that no activities whatsoever should be carried out on the land as against the initial court decision on the subject matter.

“The crisis started when the delegation of government instructed that the court order validly secured by Amagu should be ignored and what they called executive order should be followed.

“This order which obviously did not go down well with the community triggered crisis immediately to the extent that government delegate narrowly escaped being lynched.

“To this end, therefore, we call on necessary agencies to call the Ebonyi State Government to order and that they should observe the supremacy of the law and avoid taking laws into their hands before they created problems bigger than them.

“A stitch in time saves nine.”

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