EBONYI, Nigeria – The people of Isuokoma in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have raised the alarm over alleged forceful acquisition of their land for the controversial RUGA project.
This was contained in a communique issued after a meeting of Ndi Isuokoma in Diaspora, which held in Enugu.
They vowed to resist every attempt to convert their ancestral land for the purpose of the controversial project.
The communique signed by Chief Tony Anoke, Chairman and Mr Ngozi Nwoma, read in part:
“We the stakeholders, national leaders and branch executives of Isuokoma Development Union in Diaspora, including our brothers from home, critically looked into the controversy over the plans and forceful taking over of Isuokoma land by Ebonyi state government under the guise of Starking Agro Nigeria limited, and thereby state as follows:
“That after our critical investigation, consultations, discoveries and deliberations state that the purported 10, 000 hectares agricultural project is suspected to be packaged RUGA project in disguise and as such the project is rejected in its entirety.
“That some of the home dwellers who signed as witnesses to the MOU were present in the meeting and pronounced openly that they have retracted their actions having been intimidated and forced to sign the document under duress and for the interest of the community hereby renounced their actions
“That the people who purportedly signed the document are not the owners of the land and can not represent Isuokoma in that capacity as the state government must consult, negotiate with the stakeholders and owners of the land for proper thing to be done in any project to be sited in Isu.
“That Ndi Isuokoma in Diaspora, however, call on all sons and daughters of the community to remain calm and wait for the out come of our plans and strategies as they unfold to tackle the issue to a logical conclusion.
“That four committees have been set up and duties have also been assigned to them to kick start the immediate implementation of the resolutions.
“We further state that Isuokoma land is available for any genuine project and not the one surrounded with controversy, secrecy and suspicions.
“The general public is hereby warned to keep away from any land transactions involving Isuokoma community without proper consultations.”