Pay us compensation or steer clear of our land river, Onitsha deity chief priest warns FG, squatters


The chief priest of Otumoye deity, a deity inherited by the Ogbo family of Onitsha, Omodi Obiorah Nzekwu has warned the management of National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA and their squatters who encroach into the Orumoye deity land/river without their consent and compensation to desist or be prepared to face the devastating and deadly consequences arising from their encroachment.
Nzekwu who sounded this note of warning, while reacting to the alleged spate of encroachment on its land/river by squatters, including officials of NIWA and their errand boys, said the patience of Ogbo family and that of Otumoye deity have run out.
According to Nzekwu who is also the Diokpa of Obamkpa/Ogbo family of Onitsha,“Since the inception of Chief George Moghalu as the incumbent Managing Director of NIWA, we reasoned out of wisdom to settle all the rifts between we the land owners and our tenant, NIWA but we have not seen any measure of commitment on the part of NIWA”.
“We have even gone as far as setting up a committee of both parties and submitted the list of our own three-man party to NIWA to enable them bring out their own list for inauguration all geared towards ironing out our differences as it concerned the Ogbo family land.river at Otumoye deity but to no avail”.
“So we are still waiting for Moghalu to inaugurate the committee to commence work and I believe this is the first time in NIWA existence for such an olive branch to be extended by we the landlords and NIWA our tenants”.
|Our grievances are very clear because the squatters are given permit by NIWA and Ministry of Mines and Power to dredge sand at River Niger and the land they are doing this business they did not pay any dime to the family owners, neither did our family give them consent to do such businesses in our land”.

“They are using the influence of Government to intimidate the family, we know how many court cases we are pursuing in respect of that and when it was apparent, that NIWA was looking the other way, we sued NIWA even at the Federal high court so that justice must be done to recover our land”.

“Insiders in NIWA are the people we will hold responsible. We have written several letters warning NIWA that they should steer clear from all village businesses, NIWA knows very well that with the information of NIWA Act, Otumoye is a lake or a pond or a pool from time immemorial”.

“They collect money from those squatters and then they start dumping refuse to close the pool and they know the ecological system which is even in their NIWA Act about navigable waterway under
the NIWA Act”.



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