Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
A 70-year-old man, Lawson Chukwucheta, from Oro-Owo village of Rumueme in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, has raised the alarm over alleged plans by some influential land grabbers in the area to eliminate him over plots of land that belong to him.
Chukwucheta said he has been forced to flee his Oro-Owo ancestral residence because of fears for his life and appealed to the federal and state governments, as well as the international community to come to his rescue.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt yesterday, Chukwucheta said his ancestors and his generation had been living peaceably on the land for over 150 years ago without interruption or contest, and wondered why he would be subjected to the hardship he is being put to now.
He alleged that the accused people, in connivance with a multinational oil firm, have made life miserable for him and his household by preventing them from taking ownership of the over 16 plots of land.
Chukwucheta disclosed that he is currently taking refuge in a neighbouring community to save his life and family from the land grabbers, who chased him from his ancestral land.
According to him, the court had ordered some individuals who claimed ownership of the land to keep off the property, but they disobeyed the order.
He said that several efforts he has made, which included petitioning the presidency and police high authority through his counsel, Collins Dike, to prevail on the people, have not yielded any result.
He stated: “The invitation from the office of the Inspector General of Police Monitoring Team to these land grabbers and their collaborators was never honoured.
“I, therefore, plead with you to help me tell the world, that land grabbers are making life miserable for the owners, boasting that even though they disobey court orders and police invitations, nothing will happen to them.
“I am calling on the Federal and State governments, international community and Human Rights groups to prevail on the matter. I am crying out because of the desperation they have shown and my life is being threatened”, he begged