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RUGA: Abia monarch hails state govt’s restriction on land sales

RUGA: Abia monarch hails state govt’s restriction on land sales - the state government’s, the state, ruga, Monarch, land above five, abia monarch, abia

A prominent , Prof. Sunday Owualah, has expressed joy over resolve to regulate the sale of hectares in any part of .
Owualah, who is the traditional ruler of Umuobasi Autonomous community in Osisioma local government area of , said that policy justified his fear about the large expanse of land acquired by the federal government for a trailer park at Umuonyeukwu village and Umueje village in Arongwa Autonomous community, on the Enugu Port Harcourt Expressway.
He was reacting to a media briefing in Umuahia, where the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of , Mr. Uche Ihediwa, accused him of “malicious insinuations that Abia has already set aside land for settlement at Arongwa.”
In the statement titled, “Truth of the matter: trailer park not ,” the described Ihediwa’s accusation as false, saying, “Nothing can be farther from the truth than this smear and aspersion on my name and image.”
He admitted that he took up the issue of the land for the trailer park with Ihediwa and the traditional ruler of Arongwa, Eze Edward Enwereji, but said that he never alluded to the RUGA settlement.
“I never alluded to Ruga (which, by then, was not known in popular lexicon of Nigeria) nor did I maliciously insinuate land being acquired for it.”
He said that he merely cautioned Enwereji on “the need for circumspection, in view of the unfolding developments about cattle colony and cattle route in the country then.”
“My word of caution stemmed from the size of the land involved and the facilities to be hosted in the park,” Owualah said.
On his discussion with Ihediwa, the monarch disclosed, “I shared my concerns and fears with him for the size of project in a land-scarce environment.”
He said that his worry further stemmed from the possibility that the land could be “diverted for the purpose it was not intended for in the long run.”
Owualah also said that he drew the attention of Ngwa Social Club to intervene in interrogating the trailer park at the appropriate quarters.
“As a traditional ruler whose community is contiguous to Arongwa, particularly the two villages in the location of the proposed trailer park, I consider it my moral and ethical duty to protect the overall interest of my people and others resident in it now or in the future.
“That is exactly what I did in taking up the task of drawing attention to the unintended consequences of this decision that might affect generations now and those yet unborn,” the monarch said.
Recall that the attorney-general, on July 17, told a news conference in Umuahia that government would henceforth, scrutinise any request for hectares in any part of the state.
According to him, “with the new policy, application for Certificate-of-Occupancy for land above five hectares may be honoured or declined, depending on the purpose the land would be put into.
He said, “The state government’s policy is to scrutinise the application and make sure that it is not something that is convertible into RUGA. We have gone ahead to sensitise our communities to be sure that nobody sells large quantity of land.” (NAN)

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