Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Tension is mounting in Ajih Community in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu as the Umu-Ooda Ogili family clan has dragged one of their scions, Pastor Ikechukwu Ajih, before the community’s council of elders for selling a plot of land he inherited from his late father to an outsider.
Pastor Ajih, who has been battling ill health for some years now, a condition that has kept him incapacitated, Daily Sun learnt, was forced by his circumstances to sell a plot of the land in order to raise money for health expenses.
The selling of the land, however, attracted condemnation by a section of the Umu-Ooda clan, a family unit in Aji community where Pastor Ajih is a member, prompting them to place palm fronds on the land, a signal that prohibits entrance onto the property.
Further findings by Daily Sun revealed that when the buyer moved into the land and constructed a perimeter fence, unknown persons pulled it down.
Speaking to Daily Sun on the matter, Pastor Ajih alleged that Hon Simeon Atigwe, who represents Igboeze-North and Udenu federal constituency in the National Assembly, had influenced and instigated some villagers against him because he sold a plot of land bequeathed to him by his father to someone who is not from the village.
“Since I was born, I have not heard there is a law that prevents one from selling his land to an outsider in our community.
“I inherited the very land in question from my father and sold it to raise money to treat myself because I have been suffering from stroke since 2011.
“With some of our people already been bought over and instigated against me, they are now saying that I have no right to sell my land and even if I want to sell it, the buyer must be a member of the village, not an outsider,” he said.
Ajih, who had been a pastor at Christian Family Aji, before his health challenges, disclosed that those ganged up against him had not only taken the matter to the town’s council of elders but had gone ahead to pull down the perimeter fence constructed by the person who bought the land.
“The surprising thing is that some unidentified hoodlums have pulled down the fence which the buyer of the land constructed.
“Till now nobody has claimed responsibility for pulling down that fence rather those who ganged up against me are saying it was the village masquerades that came and pulled down the fence,” the pastor said.
When contacted, Mr Jonathan Ajih, the eldest man in Umu-Ooda Ogili Aji village, confirmed that the matter is before him and would be resolved amicably by the council of elders.
Meanwhile, Hon Atigwe has explained that he has no personal grievance with Pastor Ajih, stressing that his involvement in the matter was because he is the chairman of the committee set up by the village to find out if truly Pastor Ajih had sold ancestral land to an outsider.
According to him, “this is one of the measures put [in place] by our forefathers to strengthen good relationships among members of the village as well as to avoid breaking the bond of unity among kinsmen.
“That’s the reason why I followed the matter to the police and ensured that some of my committee members Pastor Ajih had arrested, who had told him he was violating the law of the land, are released.
“Presently, the matter is before the council of elders who have issued a directive that every activity on the land in question should stop pending their resolution on the matter,” the federal lawmaker said.