The people of Ime-Oyibu Quarters in Owa-Oyibu Community, the headquarters of Ika Northeast Local Government Area, have during a peaceful protest on morning of Wednesday, May 26, 2021 warning against further trespass on their land.
The protest which kicked-off 7am on that fateful day lasted for about an hour, involving the elders, the youths and children of Ime-Oyibu Quarter, both at home and in Diaspora, displaying their placards.
Addressing newsmen, the former Chairman, Ika North East Local Government Council, and the Executive Assistant (ES), to the Delta State Governor, Hon. Barr. Francis Eborka, thanked the State Government for her developmental strides across the State. He noted that his people of Ime-Oyibu are not against the growth and development of Owa-Oyibu Community, but the cases of trespassing on their land without their notice for permission.
According to him, “We are an agrarian community and the remaining part of our land is only what we are left to farm. We have in the past made sacrifice of allocating larger space of our land to the railway construction and the building of the community secondary school. There will be no doubt that if our left landed property which we use to farm is taken away from us, hunger and poverty will become our lot”.
Continuing, the legal luminary appealed to those trespassing on their land to steer clear in order to prevent crisis.
On his part, Mr. Samuel Ogboi disclosed that his people of Ime-Oyibu now rent land to farm on, as the leftover of their land is enough for them. He further revealed that before now that some parts of their land were bulldozed with notifying them and had their farm crops destroyed without compensation, throwing the affected families into suffering.
Mr. Ogboi said the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa led administration has continued to encourage the people of Deltans to go into agricultural production to provide enough food for the state, saying that in their case that their land to cultivate is forcefully taken from them, and wondered what will be their faith of livelihood if they allow them to take the remaining parts of their landed property. He stated that out of anger of intimidation and hunger that the people of Ime-Oyibu quarters of Owa-Oyibu, both old and young had gathered for a peaceful protest to avert the troubles ahead if they continued to trespass on their leftover land.
He said the pain of it all is that their land is collected from them in the pretense of developing the community and later be sold to individuals. He appealed that for a matter of peace that anyone intending to trespassed on their land should desist.
Another legal luminary of the Ime-Oyibu Quarters of Owa-Oyibu, Barr. U. S. Onuoma stated that they are not and can never be against the development of Owa Kingdom, stating they have gathered as a people to call on the government of Delta State to save their souls from hunger threatening to take their lives if only their leftover landed properties use for farming is taken away from them.
While interpreting the Land Use Act of 1978, Bar. Onuoma said in the past that it has been abused by the people who forcefully take over their land. Continuing, he said Land Use Act provisions were specified that for a land to be acquired, procedures must be followed and if any land is to be taken from such Community or individual by the government, the position is that except what the government is bringing to the land has public interest over the people.
According to him, “All I am saying is that if the project to sited have public interest, the people or the individual have to give out their lands but compensation and proper enumeration of the valuable properties on the land must be put into consideration”.
In the same vein, Elder Dennis Megbulem, a retired Superintendent of the Nigerian Police Force said his people has donated over 75 percent of their land to the Government to build School and Railway Station, saying that they have no other land to donate either to the Government or individual except an adequate compensation is made. He stated that he is disappointed in his people for keeping quiet for so long over the trespassing of their landed properties.