…go to Court, or go home!
…we have got our compensation, authentic landowners acknowledge
The Anambra State Police command has ordered any citizen of Oba community, host of the popular Anambra State International Market in Idemili South Council to pursue whatever grievances they have with the market project with the state government, go to a court of competent jurisdiction or simply embrace peace and go home.
This order was handed down yesterday by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations on behalf of the Command’s Commissioner -Mustafa Dandaura to all the parties to the matter.
At the meeting was chairman of the community, Barrister Chuba Oranusi, the market project developers led by Engr Michael Egbule and those protesting the continued clearing of the project site led by one Evangelist Benson Anajemba and Barrister Azubike Okeke.
The police chief stated that they were invited under a convivial atmosphere to be informed about the direct and unambiguous orders of the state government that all necessary compensations on the said lands for the International Market have been paid to the authentic landowners and that any move by anyone to for net trouble or impede the progress of the market project would be resisted officially. He appealed to them to go home embrace peace or take up the matter in a law court without creating any unnecessary bad blood or threat to public peace.
The meeting was sequel to a media publication and reported gross misinformation currently going on within the community by the Anajemba group who were said to be protesting to attract attention of the state government and or the market developers-Bukham Ltd.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the meeting Oranusi, a former member of the State Assembly and currently the Chairman of the representatives of the International Market landowners in Oba confirmed that the Anambra State government paid all outstanding compensation on the market project land last year. “We are grateful to the state government and are fully cooperating with the developers to see business activities kick-start in ernest at the market.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on the Commissioner for Trades, Commerce and Wealth Creation, Dr Madubuko to change his disposition towards this important market. He has been foot-dragging. He should lead the immediate movement to the site by any group of investors who are ready to move to site at once.
“The members of the Onitsha pharmaceutical traders section have been ready to relocate to the international market site, but we are aware Dr Madubuko has adopted all manner of gimmicks to delay it”, Hon Oranusi emphasized.
Describing the alleged protesters as mere meddlesome interlopers, Oranusi tendered a Supreme Court judgement in suit SC/87/1989 where the Umueze/Ogwugwu village of Oba went to court alongside Umu-mpama, Umu-Okokpa and Umu-Ezeana, being three quarters within Aboji village of Oba. That his village-Umu Eze/Ogwugwu won the suit at all levels hence owns all the rights and titles to the land.
But Anajemba who were visibly rattled by the overwhelming evidences and the stand of the government and police, through their lawyers expressed eagerness to pursue peace.
Engr Egbule expressed appreciation to the state government, police and the community for embracing peace to enable the market project proceed. The project was flagged off in 2001 by the Vice President with about 1800 shops ready and had since then been weighed down by bureaucracy. It was to get all market segments within, including banks, clinics, schools and bureau de change.