Community debunks allegations of land grabbing against Anyim
Amagu Progressive Forum has described allegations of land grabbing level against former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, as “spurious, indefensible and unfounded”.
Its chairman, Mr Osi Uka in a statement said the group decided to develop Ovumte land to the ultra-modern city for the benefit of indigenes and not to grab land and appealed to those fanning embers of crises in the community to desist.
He added that the communal ownership of the land predated every living person in Amagu, and wondered why some people would fabricate lies against Anyim over the land.
He urged those who feel aggrieved to wait for the resolution of the matter already “before a competent court of jurisdiction, rather than resort to cheap blackmail and unimaginable lies against Sen. Anyim”.
The statement noted that Ovumnte, the area in dispute, was not a village in Amagu Community, but rather a farm settlement for all the indigenes of Amagu, and had been so designated since time immemorial, adding that the rule was that for anybody or family to farm in Ovumte land, such persons would notify the ADU to grant permission and each farmer farms there as a tenant of the community, and pays land rate periodically to the community in the form of “Orji-Ali” through the ADU leadership.
The group pointed out that in 1998, Sen. Anyim approached the ADU under the leadership of late Mr Raymond Chukwu, for a parcel of land at Ovumte for residential purposes.
In the year 1999, the Union approved the request of Chief Anyim after he assured them that he would construct an access road to Ovumte. When he became a senator, he developed his residence on the parcel of land approved for him after completing all the rites required by the ADU, and thereafter constructed the access road into Ovumte land.
In 2001, the ADU set up a Land Use Committee chaired by Late Cosmas Ajah to look into the possibility of parcellating the land into residential plots since the present Amagu residential area was already very congested and many of the young ones are coming up strong with a desire for spaces to build their residence at home.
On the submission of its report, the Union said it decided to convoke a town hall meeting otherwise known as Igbo-Uzo. The meeting involved all male adults in the community from the age of eighteen years and above and was held at Akanu Village Square to discuss and seek approval of the community on the way forward for Ovumte land. The said Town Hall Meeting held in April 2001 and approved the conversion of Ovumte land from farmland to residential land.
Following the submission of the report of the land committee, the ADU in 2002 convoked another Town Hall Meeting to submit the report and seek further approval and it was unanimously agreed that each family in the village must get a piece of land, therefore the land committee should undertake a census of the families in the community
By the year 2011, the third town hall meeting was convoked to approve the family enumeration and the meeting held and approved a total of three hundred families and three hundred plots of one thousand square meters each be set aside for each family who shall pay a token to access it.
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