The Uratta community in Owerri North council of Imo state has raised the alarm over the forceful acquisition of the ancestral lands allegedly by agents of the state government.
This is even as the community said that the agents of the state shunned the restraining order of Justice Onyelachi of the state High Court Owerri and grabbed their lands with brute force and impunity.
It would be recalled that an Owerri High Court in a suit number HOW/869/2023 under Justice Mike Onyelachi had earlier issued an order restraining the state government or its agents to stop further activities on the affected areas.
Addressing newsmen at Orie Uratta, Owalla at the weekend, the National President-General of Uratta Development Association (UDA), Mr. Stanley Ukaga implored the state governor Senator Hope Uzodimma to order his aides involved in such illegal activities.
Mr. Ukaga, an Engineer recalled that Uratta clan had donated more lands to the state government than any clan in Owerri zone for the development of state capital for the purposes of expansion, and that the community should be allowed to use the remaining one for agricultural and for building of houses by their children.
He listed the affected towns to include Orji, Owalla and Owaellu saying that the illegitimate activities of the land grabbers had extended to Umunaha Uratta.
He, therefore warned that the current situation could lead to the break down of law and order if the governor do not call them to order.
“Given the relative security and peace Uratta enjoys at the moment, it would be difficult to continue to calm and restrain our youths who are seeing their future lands and farms being forcibly possessed. Asides this, some of our fathers, grandfathers and ancestors are buried in these pieces of land. It will be a curse on us and all those involved to part with, and desecrate the land which has the remains of our progenitors in such a manner.”
He stated that the community had enjoyed great and healthy relationship with the state government which Governor Uzodimma had returned it through his affection to the people of Uratta clan on the various appointments to Uratta indigenes.
“We perceive these land grabbers as agents of destabilization, who are perfecting plans to create bad blood between the state government and the community.”
The entire Uratta clan condemns these acts in their entirety and implores His Excellency to call the land grabbers to order. We do not have any land remaining apart from these and have none again to cede.”
He further urged the state government to confine themselves to areas spelt out in the existing MOU between Orji community and Amata community and Orji community.
“We advise the land grabbers to stop forthwith from trespassing into our peoples lands and farms. We also warn all those who may be tempted to buy these lands that the matter is in court and court injunctions have obtained restraining further activities on these lands. Let them not be deceived”