Governor, Liyel Imoke
By Juke Okwe
For acquiring their land contrary to their wish, 12 families in Atimaka community are on war path with Ikom Local Government Council with the latter allegedly using its position to arrest, detain and intimidate members of the families to give up their ownership of vast farm lands.
A petition by the 12 families to Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke alleged that Ikom Local Government Council right from the former administration of Ogar Ndoma Egodor to the current one have made it a point of duty of acquiring land belonging to them without consultation and compensation.
The families include those of late Chief Lifu Igri, late Chief Ndoma Oba, late Chief Eba Erim, Pa Lifu Ojong, Mr. Ndoma Eka, Mr. Ndoma Imo, Pa Ayuk Ogar, Pa Ogar Imo, Pa Eba Tawo, Pa Abara Imo, Mbe Abung and Pa Ofuka Owuna.
The petition which was signed on behalf of the 12 families by the Executive Director of Rainforest Resources and Development Centre (RRDC), Mr. Odey Oyamah, said the 12 families have, as a result, lost their ownership of land in their ancestral homes and that they have nothing again to bequeath to their children.
It was revealed that the agricultural and residential lands in use by the families in accordance with the custom of the Nkum/Yala community before the commencement of the Land Use Act No. 6 of 1978 “are highly discontent about the measures adopted for the acquisition of their family heritage and are distressed over the resultant loss of their livelihood.”