Okwe Obi, Abuja
Sequel to a protracted land disputes in Enugu State, Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), has solicited the intervention of President Mohammadu Buhari; Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
HURIWA National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement yesterday, asked President Buhari, Lawan and Gbajabiamila to investigate the State Commissioner for Housing, Vitus Okechi, over alleged abuse of office.
Onwubiko noted that the petition became expedient following unwholesome activities of the said commissioner, which could “spark off a civil strife in Enugu state unless president Buhari and the National Assembly intervene immediately.”
He said: “Since his attainment of office, there have been recurring cases of allegations of land grabbing and compulsory acquisition of the lands of several communities in Enugu, with the latest and most gruesome in Ugwuaji, irrespective of the fact that these lands had been sold to different individuals by the original owners before the forceful attempt at compulsory acquisition of the same property by the Hon. Commissioner for Housing without reason or purpose, as the law implies or any form of compensations paid to these aggrieved and now displaced persons.
“The right to own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria is a fundamental right guaranteed to every citizen of Nigeria under Section 43 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).”
He continued: “It is then a rather unfortunate claptrack to be presented with the flapdoodle, that the supposed custodians of the people’s common resources, instead of manage these resources with a sense of responsibility and for the common good of humanity, would begin to usurp the very privileges of their offices to amass the commonwealth of the many, to satisfy their selfish selves and a few others.
“In reality, land is one of the resources given by God for the benefit of man.”