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Ownership of quarry site stirs controversy between Ebonyi, Abia communities

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[FILES] PHOTO: Ebonyi State Goverment

There are strong indications of an imminent clash between the people of Amaeze-Ishiagu community in Ivo Local Council of Ebonyi State and their neighbouring Uru-Lokpanta community in Umunneochi Local Council of Abia State over the rightful owner of a quarry site located in the area.

The Guardian gathered that the two communities are presently locked in bitter quarrels over the control of the site being patronised by various construction companies within the five South-East states and beyond.

Amaeze-Ishiagu community yesterday accused Uru-Lokpanta of meddling into the quarry site illegally and threatening the lives of its people in a desire to gain ownership of the site.

But the Uru-Lokpanta community dismissed the claims of Amaeze-Ishiagu community, stressing that “they are the ones fomenting trouble.” Uru-Lokpanta said they are the authentic owners of the quarry site.

Secretary-General of Uru Improvement Union, Mr. Chukwudi Ikwu, accused the Amaeze-Ishiagu community of truncating “the embargo placed on the sale of granite from the quarry.”

He said that the matter had a long history, adding that Amaeze–Ishiagu would not want to follow laid down rules.

Chairman of Amaeze Development Union (ADU), Chief Paulinus Osita, however, told newsmen in Enugu that the quarry site belonged to his community, urging the Federal Government to intervene in the matter.

The community, in its appeal to the Federal Government, said that the same portion of land was leased out over two decades ago to Setraco Nig. Ltd for excavation of granite/chippings and later to Y’ter Nig Ltd.

It stated that the boundaries, as originally delineated, also give a clarity that the quarry site under contention falls within Ebonyi State.

He said: “The site of the granite quarry currently operated by Yiter Quarry Nigeria Ltd and its environs are exclusively within Amaeze community. The delineation of the boundaries between Abia State and Ebonyi State further corroborates this fact. The Executives of Uru Improvement Union and the Amaeze Development Union, arising from a meeting, jointly issued a memorandum wherein the leaders of Uru-Lokpanta community stated that the land whereon Setraco Nig. Ltd operated its granite quarry belonged exclusively to Amaeze-Ishiagu community.”

The ADU chairman disclosed that another agreement was reached between Setraco Nig Ltd and the people of Uru- Lokpanta community for an access road through some portion of Uru Lokpanta land into the quarry site.

The community members said they were presently worried about the increasing wave of unruly acts they allegedly suffer in the hands of Uru-Lokpanta youths.


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