By Dennis Agbo
The Emene community in Enugu East local government has rejected the Enugu State government’s revocation of their ancestral land in the guise of acquiring it for a low-cost mass housing project.
The community said that the government’s attempt was more painful given the fact that the same state government had in 2012 approved the over 200 hectares for the community’s Akani layout as their only remaining land inheritance.
They contended that the state government had taken almost all their lands except the Akani land layout which they said is the only portion remaining for their present and future generations.
They cited other portions of land that Emene community had already given out to governments to include the Akanu Ibiam International airport hectares of land, the Nigeria Air force Base Enugu, Eastern Nigeria industrial layouts, the NNPC Depot, several other government-owned housing schemes and many more.
The community therefore said that what the state government was trying to do was to exterminate them, alleging also that the government’s effort to acquire the Akani land is in disguise to sell their remaining land to private individuals other than for overriding public interest as the government claimed.
Counsels representing Emen Community B.N Nebe and Emeka Abah said that “the land in issue is an Ancestral land of the Emene Community that was shared among the adult male children of the community for their loving homes and low-cost mass housing project.
“The state government claims the reason for the acquisition (low-cost Housing Project) does not fall within the ambit of overriding public interest as stipulated by the land use Act 1978. The said land acquisition is inhuman, draconian, unlawful and unacceptable by our clients, the Emene-Nike Community. The whole world should hear the voice of the Emene people.”
The state commissioner for Land, Victor Nnam had on May 10 2021 issued a public notice where he cancelled and revoked the Akani Ancestral layout for conflicting with other purported registered and unregistered layouts.