By Steve Unegbu
Abia state has dispelled the rumors going round in some quarters that Abia state government has allocated land at Aro Ngwa to Federal government for the purpose of RUGA settlement ,describing such rumors as ,” unfortunate ,wicked ,unfounded and malicious insinuations ” by the enemies of the state.
The Abia state Attorney General and commissioner for Justice ,Hon .Uche Ihediwa,who made this disclosure during a press conference at the government house Umuahia ,said Governor Ikpeazu has been very emphatic on the issue of RUGA settlement project, that Abia state government does not have enough land therefore can not give out any land for RUGA .
Ihediwa said that the lands in Abia state is entrusted to the Governor of Abia state and as a custodian ,the processes and procedures of allocating land to anybody is stipulated in the land use Act ,which have to be followed, disclosing that federal government will always make request for land in order to site federal projects in the state ,adding that since the advent of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu administration ,no such request has been made ,not to talk of allocation of land.
He recalled that sometimes in September 2014 ,during the last administration in the State ,that the federal ministry of works ,transport and housing ,requested for land to establish TRAILER parks in the state ,during the reconstruction of Enugu – PH express way ,noting that about that time this project was being initiated in all parts of the country where there are commercial activities ,saying that the idea was that around any town ,there should be a trailer park where trailers are parked ,before they go into the town and discharge their cargoes ,instead of littering the street .
He noted that ” when the government of Abia state then under Senator T.A .Orji received the request which was for specific areas ,one in Umunneochi ,one in Umuahia and one in Aro Ngwa axis ,the government then in his wisdom penciled down ,some areas for that project ,virtually every federal government project in Abia state comes with a request for land and if the government of Abia state is willing ,it will look for the land and made it available.
” Under my watch in the ministry of land ,survey and urban planning ,I recall that we gave them land where the federal government is presently building a housing project in Mbishi in Obingwa ,we gave land for two hospitals, which are under construction ,the process is usually that the letter is transmitted to the state governor ,who minutes it to the ministry of land ,survey and urban planning.
” So when we came on board the request for trailer park was still in pipe line ,because we are trying to interact with the communities in those areas ,where ministry of land has penciled down for the trailer parks “
” Having aborted the trailer park at Aro ngwa ,because what they needed was 50 hectares ,but what was available was 20 hectares which has now been penciled down for car Assembly which the Governor attracted .
He frowned that somebody who knew about the trailer park ,went round ,saying that the trailer park is like an indirect way of establishing RUGA”
He insisted that Abia state has not accepted to build the trailer park ,not to think of allocating land for RUGA.
He said “,it is disturbing that a professor will go to town on the strength of opinion, without facts and figures and spread these rumors.
” We are hoping that after this conference ,he will apologize to Abia state government in seven days ,otherwise we will meet him in court “
” I want to dispel this unfortunate and ridiculous rumors .It is insensitivity and contrary to the South East Governors stand ,not to allocate any land on anything that has to do with RUGA “
He maintained that Abia state government will never give out any land for RUGA and anything that has to do with RUGA .