Say security crisis has rendered many women widows
The people of Owerri have criticised land grabs by successive governments in the state, calling it a deliberate ploy to render the indigenous people landless.
They said that there appears to be a deliberate policy to render Owerri people homeless by successive administrations since 1976, which they said reached a crescendo between 2011 and 2019 and has continued in the current administration of Governor Hope Uzodinma.
The people expressed dismay that most lands taken from Owerri people under the abuse of the Land Use Act for overriding public interest were later converted to private use.
A communique issued Saturday at the 4th anniversary of the EGBU Summit under the chairmanship of Maj Gen Collins RU Ihekire (retd), reads:
‘In remembrance of that epochal 2017 summit and for review of the current situation of things, the Coalition has continued to convene the summit every year and the 2021 edition under the Chairmanship of Maj Gen Collins RU Ihekire hereby issues the following resolutions:
‘That Owerri people, in spite of their historical advantage have continued to make sacrifices for others. The host indigenous communities of Owerri Municipal, Owerri North and Owerri West Local Government Areas have continued to lose most of their ancestral lands thereby rendering them and their future generations “landless” and homeless. The profound negative implications of this demographic cleaning for the future can be better imagined than told.
‘That, while appreciating that the status of a State Capital comes at a cost, the summit noted with dismay that there seems to be a deliberate policy to render Owerri people homeless by this wanton grabbing of lands by successive administrations since 1976, which reached a crescendo between 2011 and 2019 and has also reared its ugly head in the current administration of Gov Hope Uzodinma. Most worrisome is the fact that most lands taken from Owerri people under the abuse of the Land Use Act for overriding public interest are later converted to private use.
‘That, till date, nothing concrete has been done to rebuild the Ekeukwu Owerri ancestral market or compensate those who lost their loved ones and goods worth billions of naira to the illegal demolition of the market.
‘That, the summit appreciates the people of Orlu and Okigwe zones for harkening to our cry by massively electing an Owerri son as Governor of the state in 2019 but notes that the unfortunate Supreme Court judgement of 14th January has worsened the situation on the political equation in the State.
‘That, the summit commends His Excellency, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha CON for making Owerri zone and indeed, Imo people proud during his seven months stay in office by addressing the myriads of administrative and infrastructural challenges head-on, assuring him that history will not forget him.
‘That, the summit noted with appreciation the brotherhood, solidarity and commitment exhibited by Owerri Elders, religious and political leaders, captains of industry, professionals, artisans and socio-cultural organisations during the 2019 elections and urged all not to relent in the enthronement l of Equity and fairness in the state come 2023.
‘That, the summit observed the precarious security situation in Imo State which has rendered many women and children widows and fatherless, as well as kept many innocent Imolites in police custody and prison yards. It called on the government of Imo State to begin a healing process by halting the trend and reaching out to families of the victims.
‘The killings of our young men since the administration of Senato Hope Uzodinma is in IMO State is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria, except during the civil war. We ask, must the blood of all our youths be poured on the streets of Imo State to sustain this administration?
‘That, the summit appreciates all the leaders of the zone who have continued to sustain the Owerri Summit through active participation and financial/material support and urges them to keep the light shining.’
Credit: Daily Sun