Jubilant members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Enugu State, led by their National President, Ambali Hakeen Olatunji, trooped out in their numbers to the Government House, Enugu, yesterday, to thank Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for restoring Plot P/23CA, Independence Layout, Enugu, to NUGLE, after it was discovered that the said land was purportedly revoked without the governor’s approval pursuant to the Land Use Act.
The local government workers, who took to their dance steps, expressed immense gratitude to Ugwuanyi for wiping out their tears over “our ordeals under the immediate past commissioner for Lands and Urban Development,” stressing that the governor has “really gotten us out from the state of hopelessness.”
Similarly, the people of Emene Nike autonomous community, led by Igwe Felix Ugwu, also paid a thank-you visit to Ugwuanyi for equally restoring their land which was purportedly acquired without the knowledge and approval of the governor.
Earlier in his remarks, the new Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, disclosed on assumption of office he was shocked to discover, after thorough investigation, that the purported revocation of the NULGE land was done without the knowledge and approval of the governor pursuant to the Land Use Act.
The commissioner said: “Your Excellency, you will recall that a few weeks ago, the Department of State Service (DSS) knowing how much you have invested in terms of time, efforts and resources to ensure a peaceful Enugu State had alerted you of a crisis that was brewing in the state Ministry of Lands and Urban Development over the purported revocation of Plot P23CA Independence Layout, Enugu belonging to NULGE.
“Your Excellency, as you were digesting this important report from a trusted partner in the security of the state, the DSS, members of the Enugu State House of Assembly after their investigation further alerted you of this crisis and the injustice that was done.
“Your Excellency, you ordered immediately a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances leading to this very big aberration in the process of your governance.
“After the investigation, it was clearly established that you (Ugwuanyi) did not even know neither was your permission and approval sought in line with the requirements of the Land Use Act before the revocation was done.
“When you called for this file on my assumption of office, we did a complete review and we discovered that even the processes of revocation were not even contained in this file which was a deliberate process to ensure not even the staff of the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development could see this and alert you.
“So, it was the fact that you didn’t have knowledge of this that allowed this matter drag to this extent.
“Your Excellency, in your determination to always ensure justice, due process and the process of governance protect the least people of the state, you directed immediately that we should reverse this purported revocation.”
Speaking on behalf of NULGE, Olatunji, who described Ugwuanyi as “the most labour-friendly governor in Nigeria” and “the ray of hope in the South East,” told the governor that the workers were happy and excited at such rare decision.