The leaders of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State comprising the chairman, all the traditional rulers and other stakeholders of the agrarian council rose from an emergency meeting on Tuesday, and unanimously dissociated themselves from all purported sale, lease or other forms of alienation of land at Nkpunator, Igga, Nkpologu and other communities in the area.
In a stern communiqué issued at the end of the meeting which was signed by the chairman, Hon. Barr. Fidelis Ani and all the 14 traditional rulers, on behalf of the people of Uzo-Uwani Local Government, the leaders noted with great concern and dismay, the indiscriminate sale, lease and other alienation of their ancestral land “contrary to extant laws, customs and traditions regulating alienation of land by criminal elements who have no authority to do so”.
Noting the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Land Use Act and other extant laws regulating the Alienation of Land, “including but not limited to Judicial pronouncement on same”, the leaders expressed concern at “the activities of criminal elements who pose as foreign investors in their quest to illegally acquire community land”.
They added that they were “determined to develop our respective communities, local government and State and improve the living conditions of our people with the meager resources at our disposal”, acknowledging the urgent need “to preserve our land and natural resources for our use and that of generations yet unborn”.
The stakeholders maintained that they were disposed and open to foreign and local investments and recognize their importance in stimulating economic growth and social progress of the area, in a peaceful and secure environment.
Consequently, they advised those who facilitated the unauthorized and illegal sale of such land to return the proceeds of such sale to the purported buyers and went further to advise “those who purportedly purchased the land to lawfully seek recovery of their money or other considerations”.
The people of the council therefore offered advice to the public to be guided strictly by the extant laws, customs and traditions regulating alienation of land and “refrain from dealing with unauthorized persons who go about selling what they do not have”.
According to the communiqué, “the government and people of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area remain open and indeed welcome all genuine investors who are interested in investing in Uzo-Uwani”.