Tony Okafor, Awka
The Anambra State Government has denied the accusation of land grabbing by residents of Anambra Housing Corporation’s estate, Awka.
No less than 20 professors and other residents protested Wednesday against the alleged land grabbing by suspected government agents.
The protesters said a piece of land has served the estate’s residents for recreation, relaxation and other social events for over 20 years since it was assigned by the state government.
The president of the estate residents’ association, Prof. Stanley Udedi, addressed journalists and accused the Anambra State Housing Development Corporation of selling the space to a private developer at the expense of the public interest for which it was originally intended.
He said residents had devoted a lot of resources to securing the land and developing it into a functional recreation center by building a bungalow and filling the swampy part with sand.
Udedi stated that the estate management had petitioned Governor Willie Obiano; Secretary of the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu; and president of the state house, Uchenna Okafor, on the matter.
He said: Our children and young adults use the center for sports activities including football, table tennis and badminton, while our elderly use the same for evening relaxation and as a hypertension / stress-free center.
Surprisingly, the management received a letter from the ASHDC, signed by one AI Nwofor, in which the information about the alleged sale of the center was passed on to one Mr Kingsley Nwafor.
This letter, the first of its kind since we took over the estate from the defunct AHOCOL, has caused bitterness and resentment in the estate since its receipt.
To make matters worse, the alleged buyer has harassed the entire estate with thugs, attacking both the estate director and security people, and causing serious tensions in the estate.
Udedi added that residents were willing to go to court if the developer and his agents refused to back off.
The letter from the Director of Estate Services, ASHDC, AI Nwofor, read in part: It is imperative to bring to your attention that the open space of the estate previously destined for recreational use, which has been fallow and undeveloped for the past 20 years has been stripped of the zones and assigned to real developers of residential land use.
We hope the review will bring growth and eliminate unpleasant activities within the estate’s fields of expertise.
Please note that all of the estate’s allottees are expected to begin development to the habitable stage within two years as stated in their allotment letters; non-compliance will lead to withdrawal without notice.
In response, Information and Public Enlightenment Commissioner C-Don Adinuba described the accusation as infantile and infragraphic.
Adinuba said: The governor has the legal powers to take over any country for the overriding public interest.
It is infantile to accuse the government of land grabbing a land it already owns. The governor can revoke the land they are talking about for higher public interest. It is infra to accuse the government or its agents of land grabbing.
The quality of some people’s thinking gets so terrifying. If they feel hurt, they should go to court instead of indulging in outrageous childish drama.
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