Amagu community, in Ishiagu, Ivo local government area of Ebonyi state, has absolved former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Anyim Pius Anyim, of alleged land grabbing in the area, thereby causing crisis in the community.
But the Traditional Ruler of Amagu Community, Chief Godffery Makwo, yesterday stated that the former SGF had no hand in the land dispute rocking the area recently.
He stated that the people of Amagu and some persons in the community known as settlers have been having issues over parcellation of Ovumte land, he added that the settlers have been raising objection over the parcellation of the land.
The traditional ruler noted that some persons were said to be injured during the parcellation, while the machine used in parcellating the land were destroyed leading to tension in the area.
He said the settlers were laying claims to the settlement even when such was not the oral agreement between the settlers and their fathers. He warned settlers in Ovumte land settlement not to push the community to curse them if they continue to oppose the parcellation of the settlement.
He said “I am 73 years and this is my 27th year as the Chief of this community which the entire Amagu community gave to me. My father is late and he told me that Ovumte land settlement belongs to Amagu and to the best of my knowledge, right from time our ancestors agreed that if you want to live here, don’t plant anything and even if you do and your brother wants to erect house, remove it. The settlers know this. The true story is that Ovumte belongs to Amagu.
“There is a play ground in our community known as Ogbuji where decisions are taking and whatever decision we take will be agreed upon. We are only pitying these sets of people because there is a custom that we will do and all those people that are fighting this community will have themselves to blame. If we hit our walking stick on the ground for them, they will suffer. They should not push us to do this. Recently, something happened in Okposi, Ohaozara local government area and the people of Okposi went to their traditional place and this this and something happened. So, we pray that we will not be dragged to do this.
On his part, Amagu Develoment Union(ADU), Chief Ukah Livinus Okorie, also absolved Sen. Anyim of land grabbing in the Ovumte land settlement.
He said, “The current decision to parcellate 158 hectares of the Ovumte land settlement was the collective decision of Amagu community after their general meeting to enable every family have a portion of the land and not for Anyim to claim it as widely speculated.
“As far as I know as Chairman of the community, Ovumte land is a general land that belongs to the whole community. Though some people might come up trying to claim ownership of the land. Right from time immemorial, such people have been here and the community kept them as tenants, they pay rents to the community and the community allow them to stay. Our fathers made oral agreement that they can stay here but any time the community wants to make use of the land, the community is free to do so and we have been doing that.