Kinsmen Battle Okorocha Over Illegal Grabbing of Community Land

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The people of Ogwume autonomous community in Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo State yesterday trooped out to the community centre to protest the alleged illegal acquisition of their ancestral land by Governor Rochas Okorocha.
The people—aged, youths, women and even children—gathered from various parts of the country where they reside to fight against the alleged intimidation by the governor, who they also accused of using his principal secretary, a native of the community, Mr. Pascal Obi to perfect his plan of fraudulently acquiring their land using government apparatuses.
The people, who sang solidarity songs, carried palm fronds and placards with various inscriptions such as “This is wicked acquisition of land”, “where do you want our children to live?”, “Our land has been hijacked by thieves”, among others.
It was observed that the governor was forcefully taking over the land, anchoring his reason for doing so on the basis that the federal government was constructing a police college.
But, sensing that Okorocha was only using that means to forcefully grab their land and render them homeless, the people disagreed that the land was being acquired for Police college, as according to them, there is already an existing police college at Isu in Nwangele LGA also in the same senatorial zone and as a result, there should not be two police colleges in one state not to mention in a particular senatorial district.
They also accused the governor of going beyond the portion made available for government by the communities, saying that part of the land was more than enough to build any college.
To confirm their suspicion that the governor was using his position to fraudulently acquire the land, the community noted that the governor, through Pascal Obi shared the sum of N300,000 to about 70 women whose cassava farms had been destroyed, resulting to the money being shared among the women betweenN4000 and N5000.
Speaking during the protest monitored by thee traditional rulers of Ogwume and Obiohia communities, a native of the community and one of the people whose land was forcefully collected, Surveyor Pascal Okwaraogu, described the governor’s action as a disrespect to the people of the community.
“They have trampled on our right as a people. They entered our land without any recourse to our traditional ruler, his cabinet members and our community leaders. By this, government of Owelle Rochas Okorocha has shown grave disrespect for the people of this community”, he said.
Okwaraogu, a Port Harcourt-based estate surveyor agreed that by virtue of Land Use Act, government reserved the right to acquire any land, he maintained that there are laid down procedures for acquiring people’s lands.
He stated that in a place where there is genuine acquisition of people’s land by the government, the ministry of lands officials would be involved and while the land in question would be valued according to cash crops in them for the purposes of compensation.
“But, in this place, the land was not delineated with crystal beacons and it was some of our people in government that came to claim that the land is being used for Police College without any government documentation. We’ll not stop at this protest until things are done properly”, he said.
Also, a Lagos-based social activist, Comrade Jude Adimele, Jude Emeka Metu and village chairman of Umuokwaraudu, Chief Ferdinand Umeh,  stated that they were not against development of the community by any means by the government, but “such things should be done with due process and with full knowledge of the land owners”.
They noted that the governor succeeded in acquiring one coach of the land where the army occupied more than four decades ago without much resistance from the people, stating that coming to the other side of the road to collect thousands of hectares of land without the knowledge of the people was the height of disrespect.
They insisted that the protest must continue irrespective of the amount of intimidation with the police and army because according to them that is the only place available for the people to build houses and cultivate farmland.
Reacting to the protests, the traditional ruler of Ogwume community, HRH Eze Ethelbert Ifeanyi Ajaraogu noted that the government reserved the right to acquire any land but before doing that the people must not be left behind.
He called on the government to do everything within its reach to come and discuss with the land owners so that peace would return back to the once peaceful community.
The monarch commended the people for their peaceful demonstration and assured them that the government would come and discuss with them.


  1. Ethelbert “Rochas” Okorocha should realize that power is transient. His primitive acquisition of lands belonging to fellow citzens are being documented. When his disgraceful era is gone, these properties and estates will be dully recovered. God bless Imo state

  2. In guise of transferring Imo state University to Ogboko, Gov. Okorocha acquired a vast land in Ogboko. It’s four years he is building what looks like a university on the land. Now who owns the buildings and the land, since it appears the university thing is becoming a mirage?

    If he can’t establish a school there now, doubt he can do it when he is no more on office.


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