HURIWA proffers solutions to land disputes in Enugu

HURIWA in a statement issued by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko.

Human Rights Writer’s Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has suggested the decommissioning of the Ugwuaji land dispute which involves the Enugu State government, advising that a public-private engagement should be adopted which would lead to the development of the entire area and put an end to the squabble.

HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, at a press briefing yesterday, in Abuja, listed the Umunnugwu Ndiaga Layout: Co-owned by Umunnugwu and Ndiaga Villages in Ugwuaji Awkunanaw and jointly managed by individuals from both villages respectively as the land in dispute.

According to him, “HURIWA therefore believes that the first step to restoring the confidence of all stakeholders would be for the Hon. Commissioner for Housing, working under the guise of government approval, to decommission the entire operation to acquire the Ugwuaji Lands and allow for public-private engagement in the development of the entire area.”

Onwubiko, who had earlier weighed in to the matter, claimed that he had “become inundated with petitions from all over the country on the apparent professional misconduct of men and officers of some military outfits which goes against their constitutional mandates as clearly spelt out in sections 217-220 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended.”

He said: “We are being told that officers of the Air Force of Nigeria are been misused and deployed to chase land owners around Enugu because they (Air Force officers) were allegedly bribed by the Housing ministry officials to take people’s lands to sell to land speculators.

“This is not the first time we are been alerted that the military are veering off into purely civil matters even when there are grave threats to the nation. “The situation was somewhat contained until Mr. Vitus Okechi was named the substantive Commissioner for Housing.

“Unsurprisingly, besides the many disappointing moves he has made thus far, he has recently gone as far as engaging the services of men of the Nigerian Air Force, whose focus and objective should have been on external and territorial incursions into the Nigerian Airspace.

Onwubiko wondered, “how he manages to drag this expected-to-be-highly-disciplined officers to the role of land grabbing beats the imagination of the ordinary mind.”

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