Akpasha Akegbugwu community in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State and land owners in the area have commended the state government for its prompt action in the revocation and clearing of an expanse of land in the area, which they alleged was used surreptitiously as a den of kidnappers and robbers.
The said parcel of land, according to the land owners within the vicinity, was last occupied by the former Nigeria Bricks and Clay Products Limited, which had closed down business for a very long time prior to acquisition of the individual landed property within the area.
Reacting to claims by a company, Bridgeways DPG Ltd, that it owns the property and had made huge investment in it, the concerned land owners faulted the allegations as “strange, false and misleading”.
In a joint statement by Engr. Moses Udeh, Chief Mike Onwanze, Dr. Dennis Ngene and Mrs. Josephine Nnamani, the private land owners described the company’s claims as “a failed calculated attempt to undermine the efforts of the government to enhance security of lives and property of the people in the area and stamp out kidnapping in the state.”
They alleged that the said property had been lying fallow for over 15 years after the Nigeria Bricks and Clay Products Limited closed down business, stressing that no investment had taken place in the land since the company left the state.
The neighborhood regretted that they have not been able to commence full development of their own landed property because of the criminal activities of kidnappers on the parcel of land under reference.
They said that the intervention of the government through the revocation and clearing of the land was belated and a welcome development that had paved way for rapid development.
The group alleged that there was an agreement reached between the community, government and former Nigeria Bricks and Clay Products Limited, that if the company refused to develop the land for commercial use within a specific period of years, government should take over the property for public interest.
They challenged the aggrieved company to show evidence of investment in the said land in the past 10 years it alleged to have acquired the property. The land owners equally reminded the company of the grave consequences of its alleged plots to undermine the efforts of the government in the war against kidnapping and other criminal acts in the state.
While advising the company to channel its grievances, “if any”, to the appropriate authorities, rather than choosing the media as its first port of call, the group urged the state government not to be distracted in its efforts to encourage housing development and ensure the security of lives and property of the people of the state, which they described as the hallmark of any responsible government.