From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Some residents of Ovoko community in Igbo-eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State have sent a Save Our Soul (SOS) message to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi over the planned demolition of their houses and eventual takeover of their ancestral lands by the state government.
The concerned residents made the appeal, yesterday, in Nsukka during a peaceful protest at the site of the proposed Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Teaching, Hospital, College of Medicine, in Igbo Eno.
Some of the placards carried by the protesters read: “Let all encroachment stop, If government demolishes our ancestral houses, we and our next generation will be landless and homeless in our own community, “this our ancestral home is the only inheritance we have on this earth, “government should compensate us for the land we willingly donated for ESUT project.”
Speaking to newsmen, Mr. Elias Eze, the eldest man of the affected villages, said many people might become homeless if government went ahead to demolish marked houses in the community. He pointed out that the state government had exceeded the official demarcation the community willingly gave them for the project.
His words: “We want to bring to the attention of Governor Ugwuanyi the unguarded encroachment on our family lands here at Agu Igbo Eno, the site of ESUT Teaching Hospital project site.
“We are using this peaceful protest to call on Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to come to our rescue before many of our community members will become homeless and internally displaced persons (IDP) in their own community.
Efforts to get reaction from Mr Chukwuemeka Nnam, Enugu State Commissioner for Land and Survey was unsuccessful, as he neither picked calls put through to his mobile phone nor replied the text message sent to him.