SOME aggrieved families in Obosi community, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State have warned those they identified as ‘unknown land grabbers’ and illegal land speculators to steer clear of their family lands.
The ‘Obosi family land owners’ warned the land grabbers to be prepared to face legal actions and other consequences arising from their encroachments into Obosi family lands without their consent.
The protesters from about 16 families staged a peaceful demonstration within the large expanse of lands belonging to various families in Obosi and located at Okpoko, Mkpikpa, UgbouloUgbongene layouts of Obosi, close to a portion of the on-going Second Niger Bridge project.
The demonstrators chanted some solidarity songs holding placards with various inscriptions took off from the palace of the traditional ruler of Obosi Ancient Kingdom, Igwe ChidubemIweka III and headed to the area.
Earlier, they were cautioned by the palace secretary to the Obosi monarch, Ugonabo Shedrack Okenwa, against violence or any other conduct likely to cause a breach of peace on the process of their peaceful demonstration.
Some of the inscriptions in their placards read in part: “Land grabbers stay away from our land. These lands belong to different families in Obosi, including we Umuocholikwom family.
“Umuorakposim family asks land grabbers to stay away!. Umuopi, Ekwulugo family asks you land grabbers to stay away from Obosi land,” among others.
The trio of Chairman of Obosi families land owners, Nze Chinedu Okafor, Tochukwu Amobi from Umuocholikwom family and Secretary of all Obosi family land owners and Tochukwu Obienu, Chairman of Ime Obosi youths, in their separate speeches expressed their grievances.
They recalled that they were flabbergasted when they caught the land grabbers clearing the lands with swamp buggy excavators because they did not expect such.
Okafor, Amobi and Obienu disclosed that on interrogation, the unidentified land grabbers claimed that the lands were allocated to them by government but those people they met at these lands could neither present any documents to their claims nor identify themselves.
They restated their earlier warning not to see the grabbers around that vicinity any longer to avoid unpleasant consequences.
According to Nze Okafor, “the 1978 Land Use Act does not permit the government to acquire lands and allocate same to unknown persons without the consent of the original land owners.
“We say enough is enough. We just woke up one morning and discovered the presence of swamp buggy excavators destroying our raffia palms and other economic trees on our lands.
“When we approached the workers who could not even mention their names or company name, they said government gave it to them for investment”, said Okafor.
“Please we plead with Anambra Government to call those faceless land grabbers to order to avoid catastrophe. We are not willing to concede our land without due process or our consent”, said Amobi.
Moreover, the youth leader, Obienu, warned,” we will resist the illegal land speculators with the last drop of our blood. Obosi family lands are not for grabs”.