Abia govt clears air over alleged allocation of land for Ruga at Osisioma
* Gives monarch 7-day ultimatum to apologise for raising false alarm
By Steve Oko
Abia State Government has cleared the air over insinuations making the rounds that it had allocated land for the controversial toxic Ruga settlement at Arungwa in Osisioma Local Government Area.
The State Government which dismissed the rumour as ” wicked, malicious and a blackmail”, said it lacked substance.
Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice , Mr. Uche Ihediwa who made the refutal at a Press Conference Wednesday in Umuahia, urged members of the public to discountenance it.
He said it was not in the contemplation of the state Government to donate land for Ruga in any part of Abia State, adding that the state can not go contrary to the position of South East Governors and Igbo Leaders that there is no land for Ruga in any part of South East.
The State Attorney General who was flanked by the traditional ruler of Arongwa Autonomous Community, HRH Eze Ndukwe Enwereji, however, explained that the said land was originally intended for building a trailer park but had been designated for another purpose.
He further explained that the Federal Government had in 2014 during the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, through the Federal Ministry of Works requested the state to make available 50 hectres of land for the purpose of building trailer park to help decongest traffic on the Enugu -Port Harcourt Expressway.
Ihediwa who was coincidentally the Commissioner for Lands & Survey during the period, said only 20 hectares of land could be afforded by the community, hence the project could not be pursued.
He said that following the short fall in the required size of land the State Government had already penciled it down for a car assembly plant which the Governor attracted from China.
“When Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu came on board, he decided to use the land for another purpose. He has attracted a car Assembly Plant from China that will set up its company on the land”, he said .
The Commissioner who was visibly livid over the rumour that the state government had donated the said land for Ruga settlement challenged those behind the rumour to present their evedience.
He said that the state government had not even issued any Letter of Allocation to the federal government let alone Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).
Ihediwa added that the state under Purpose Clause , reserved the right to revoke the ownership authority of any land allocated to any person or even federal government upon the discovery that the original purpose had been thwarted.
The Commissioner pointed accusing fingers on the traditional ruler of the neighbouring Umuobasi community and a lecturer at the University of Lagos, HRH Eze Professor S. I Owuala, as the arrowhead of those behind the “smear campaign”.
He accused him of raising false alarm to castigate Eze Enwereji and the state government even when he ought to know better, and demanded unreserved apologies within seven days “or meet us at the court”.
Restating the state government’s opposition to Ruga, the Attorney General added that government had even developed a policy which subjects any request for land beyond five hectares to scrutiny to avoid being converted to Ruga.
” We are even sensitising the public to be careful about selling their land in large quantity to avoid such land being converted to Ruga latter,” he said.
Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.