Abia: Isiala-Ngwa Communities Express Concerns, Appeal to Gov Otti to Reconsider Fulani Herdsmen, Trailer Park Plan(document) | #NwokeukwuMascot
...Dr. Alex Otti paying back Ngwa people with bad coin, despite our support - says Community Leaders | #NwokeukwuMascot
The communities of Umuvo na Ikaa and Owerrinta in Isiala Ngwa South LGA, Abia State, have expressed their concerns and appealed to Governor Alex Otti to reconsider the plan to introduce Fulani herdsmen to their ancestral land. The communities believe that this move will pose a threat to their lives, security, and the sustainability of their farmland.
In a letter addressed to the Governor, the communities highlighted their grievances and fears regarding the proposed establishment of a trailer park in their communities. They argue that this development will not only displace families from their homes but also create environmental hazards and attract criminal activities such as kidnapping, prostitution, drug peddling, and robbery.
The communities also draw attention to the existing issues faced by neighboring areas with trailer parks, such as Umunneochi/Lokpanta axis of the state and Eleme in Port Harcourt, where crimes and security challenges have been reported. They assert that the introduction of a trailer park in their community will transform it into a Hausa/Fulani settlement, similar to these troubled areas.
A community leader expressed his confusion as to why the state government would consider bringing in Fulani herdsmen despite the havoc they have already caused in other parts of the state. The communities stress that they cannot tolerate the presence of these strangers or the dangers associated with a trailer park.
The communities appeal to Governor Otti to discontinue any discussions, surveys, or activities related to the proposed site and to consider relocating the project to an uninhabited area that is not densely populated. They emphasize their support for Otti during the last governorship election and their law-abiding nature, urging him to reconsider the plan unless he wishes to go into conflict with their communities.
Community leaders warn that any action that displaces them from their ancestral land and poses inherent dangers will be resisted, as the communities are prepared to defend themselves. They describe the state government’s plot as wicked and vow to protect their people. They also caution local individuals aiding the government to consider the consequences of their actions before it escalates into an uncontrollable conflict.
The letter reads in part: "We, the good of Umuovo la Ikaa people have just been informed, to our utmost chagrin, of a purported plan by Abia State Government to forcefully acquire over 9.5 hectares of an ancestral land belonging to some indigent families within our communities, for the purposes of establishing a TRIALER PARK, which is a way of introducing the dreaded Fulani - herdsmen in our land ".
The people believe that the large expanse of land, located at Umuvo, around former Basic Gas and near the Naval Base in Owerrinta, Isiala Ngwa South LGA owed by three communities is the source of livelihood for many families in the communities and will be tantamount to denying their people their farmland, and sustainability in the face of harsh economic reality in Nigeria.
"The proposed TRAILER PARK, at Umuvo is at a busy area in the heart of rural dwellers and in the central area of our community. There are so many dangers associated with this incursion into our community. Apart from displacing families from their natural and ancestral homes, the proposed park will occasion a lot of environmental hazards that will not augur well with our people".
There are also tertiary institutions and a Naval base around the area, Adventist Secondary Technical School, Owerrinta, Convenant Polytechnic, Umuogbu - Owerrinta, Clifford University, Owerrinta campus and Nigeria Navy School, Owerrinta, all within the radius of the proposed trailer park.
"Therefore, a TRAILER PARK in our community is a TIME BOMB as it will transform our community into Hausa/Fulani settlement as we all know the atrocities going on at Umunneochi/ Lokpanta axis of the state and Eleme in Port Harcourt because of the establishment of trailer parks and the effort of both state government to deal with the crime and security issues associated with the TRAILER PARKS".
"More so, a TRAILER PARK will bring kidnapping, prostitution, hard drug peddling, cattle grazing on peoples farms, robbery, killing and all kinds of crimes in the entire Isialangwa by the time it becomes operational".
A renowned community Leader who spoke to reports says, he is still wondering why the state Government, knowing the activities of these blood letting goons, would think of bringing such characters again to Abia state, on a new site despite the havoc they are already causing at Lopanta, Umunnechi, where decaying dead bodies, bones, bodies with severed heads were recently discovered as confirmed by Your Excellency.
"Therefore, our people cannot contend with herdsmen menace. They cannot contend with the hostile lifestyle of their new strangers the government of Abia state wish to forcefully introduce to us. They cannot contend with the physical dangers associated with a TRAILER PARK. We therefore use this opportunity to ask that you use your good offices to discontinue any discussion, survey and activities planned or on - going at the site as our people are totally against this invasion.“
"With the dangers stated above, we are once again appealing to His Excellency to please remove this “Cancer” from our midst and take it back to any other location, with due cognisance of the environmental assessment and safety evaluation exercise.“
Emeka Ezindu recall that, during the last governorship election, the people of Umuvo and Ikaa gave Otti our support, we are also a law abiding community. Our only plea is that, if the government of Abia state indeed deem this project extremely necessary, they should take it to a free area that is not inhabited or densely populated by the rural dwellers because of the dangers associated with it.
"Thanking you Sir, in anticipation of your kind “RETHINK” and withdrawal of this unhealthy disruption of our community, the letter concludes “.
Reacting, a community leader, Uzoma Nathan, from Umuvo village, wondered why despite their support to Otti during the last general elections, he is now paying the Ngwa communities with a bad coin. He urge the Governor to have a rethink unless you wishes to go into war with their communities.
Another community Leader, Earnest Jonah, frowned at the decision and warned that such action that will didplace them from their inheritance with the inherent dangers will be resisted as the communities are well prepared to tame the invaders.
Contributing, Chief Chidi Nwogu, from Owerrinta described the plot of Abia state Government as wicked, aimed to wipe away the communities and vowed to defend their people and warned the local people aiding Abia state government and their officials to weigh the consequences of their actions before it escalates into an uncontrollable war.