The people of Amaeze Ishiagu community in Ivo local government area of Ebonyi State are locking horns with their Abia neighbours, Uru-Lokpanta community, in Umuneochi local government area, Newzandar reports.
This is as the Amaeze people have accused the latter of unjust meddling into their quarry site and unlawfully threatening the lives of their people in a desire to gain ownership of the site.
Speaking to newsmen in Enugu on Sunday, the chairman of Amaeze Development Union,Chief Paulinus Osita while making an appeal to the Federal government tagged, ‘Save Our Souls from Uru- Lokpanta Campaign of Terror and Economic Sabotage’, told newsmen that they were the the true owners of the Quarry site in contention.
He said the same portion of land was leased out over two decades ago to Setraco Nig Ltd for excavation of granite/chippings and lately to Y’ter Nig ltd.The ADU, stressing that the Ebonyi and Abia state boundaries as originally delineated also gives a clarity that the quarry site under contention falls within Ebonyi state.
“We address this conference to firstly, dismiss the allegations of brutality against the Nigeria Army and the position and the baseless, unfounded, puerile and provocative claims of a renegade faction of the people of Uru Lokpanta community in Umuneochi Local Government Area of Abia State. The above has become necessary as a lie constantly told on a sustained basis may soon assume an appearance of the truth’.
“The site of the granite quarry currently operated by Yiter Quarry Nigeria Ltd and its environs are exclusively within Amaeze community. This statement of fact is neither novel nor unfounded. This has been the position at all material times since the days of yore until presently. The delineation of the boundaries between Abia State and Ebonyi State further corroborate this fact. What is more, on the 5th day of February 2003, the Executives of Uru Improvement Union and the Amaeze Development Union, arising from a meeting, jointly issued a memorandum wherein the leaders of Uru-Lokpanta community stated that the land whereon Setraco Nig. Ltd operated its granite quarry belonged exclusively to Amaeze-Ishiagu community,” he said..
ADU disclosed that another agreement was reached between Setraco Nig Ltd and the people of Uru- Lokpanta community for an access road through some portion of Uru Lokpanta land into the quarry site.
“On the 25th of October 2008, the agreement was duly executed by officials of Setraco Nig. Ltd and the leaders and the accredited representatives of the Uru-Lokpanta community where it was expressly conceded that the agreement was limited to a section of the access road belonging to Uru-Lokpanta community. It was also stated in the agreement that the quarry site does not belong to Uru-Lokpanta but to Amaeze-Ishiagu. Upon the execution of this agreement, copies of the agreement were stamped, filed and registered at the Magistrates Court of Abia State, Umuneochi on the 27th day of October 2008′.
“Uru-Lokpanta community was never at any time, the landlord or lessor to Setraco Nig. Ltd which operated the quarry site for a period of over 2 decades. It is true that Amaeze-Ishiagu community being the undisputed owner and landlord of the quarry site, executed a leasehold agreement with Setraco Nig. Ltd,” he added.
ADU said they were presently worried with the increasing wave of unruly acts their people allegedly suffer at the hands of Uru-Lokpanta Youths.
ADU mentioned the case of one Mr Paul Ossi, a farmer from the community, whom he alleged was beaten to stupor in his farm, by youths from Uru-Lokpanta on March 28.
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