From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Some residents of Ovoko community in Igbo-eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State have sent a Save Our Soul (SOS) message to Enugu state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, over plans to demolish their houses and take their ancestral lands by state government.
The residents made the appeal on Saturday in Nsukka during a peaceful protest at the site of proposed
Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Teaching, Hospital, College of Medicine,
Some of the placards carried by the protesters read “Let all encroachment stop.
“If government demolish our anscentral houses, we and our next generation will be landless and homeless in our own community.
“This our ancestral home is the only inheritance we have on this earth.
“Government should compensate us for the land we willingly donated for ESUT project.”
Speaking to newsmen Mr. Elias Eze, the eldest man of the affected villages said many people might become homeless if government went ahead to demolish marked anscentral houses in the community.
Eze pointed out that the state government have exceeded the official demarcation the community willingly gave them for the project.
“We want to bring to the attention of Governor Ugwuanyi the unguarded encroachment on our family lands here at Agu Igbo Eno, the site of ESUT Teaching Hospital project site.
“we are in support of government ongoing construction of ESUT Teaching Hospital in our area, that is why we willingly donated many plots land for the project.
“But we are surprise that government has encroached in our ancestral homes and mark our residential houses for demolition.
“Unfortunately, the lands they are threatening to dispose us of is the only land we possess under the sun, it is the only land we occupy, reside on, work in and depend upon.
“We are using this peaceful protest to call on Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to come to our rescue before many of our community members will become homeless and internal displaced Persons (IDP) in their own community,” he said.
Speaking further, Eze said “we are appealing to the governor to intervene and stop the planned demolition of our ancestral houses.
“If eventually government take away the land from use, ourselves and generation to come will run the horrible risk of losing titles to both home and land and shall become homeless,”he lamented.
The eldest man listed villages in Ovoko community affected to include; Ameboda, Ukwuakpu, Udugweagu and Umuodu.
Efforts to get reaction from Mr Chukwuemeka Nnam, Enugu State Commissioner for Land and Survey was unsuccessful.
As the commissioner neither picked calls to his mobile cellphone nor replied text message sent to him, as of the time of filing this report