– Says land acquisitions is strictly business of Imo State Land, Physical Planning Ministry
By Anselem Anokwute
The Imo State Commissioner for Land and Physical Planning, Hon. Noble Abiaso Atulegwu, has made it loud and clear that the only ministry saddled with the responsibility of issuance of landed documents and other related obligations remained the Imo State Land and Physical Planning Ministry.
Hon Atulegwu made this official statement during the courtesy visit by the Members of Imo Guild of Field Journalists led by Comrade Kelechi Ugo in his office Monday 7August 2023, and explained that every land belongs to the State and the government has expressively right to take over any land for the overall public interest.
He thanked members of the Association basically drawn from the existing Community, State and Zonal based Journalists working in both Print and Electronics Media Organization under the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Nigeria Labour Congress.
Hon Atulegwu further expressed dissatisfactions over the negative media against his ministry on allegations of grabbing and illegal acquisitions land and pointed out that the only way to know the truth is through investigative journalism.
He pointed out that the governor Senator Hope Uzodimma has no singular land possessive interest but the issue of Land Acquisitions have remained the work of his ministry for the overall public interest.
According to him, the Governor Senator Hope Uzodimma has not acquired any new land since his administration but the ministry is only interested in enforcement of release of the already acquired land by the previous administrations. Like the government land at Okuku Community in werri West acquired in 2017, Amatta, Umuoma Nekede and many others.
“Our challenges is that the Youth from some the community mentioned here have sold out the land to people. That’s why it’s important to do search before you buy any land. And the defrauded land buyers are the people fueling the crisis paying for all sorts of media blackmail against us”. “Will the blackmail, falsehood and evil allegations stop us from recovering all Government Land?, the answer is No. We are ready to do the needful, Government have a way to acquire Land and when ones that obligations are fulfilled the land belongs to the government no matter the number of years”.
“We are not land grabbers but if it is for the overall public interest yes Government will grab it”. Atulegwu.
He explained that his office is open for enquiry and explanation to the people on the issues of Land Acquisitions and called on those involved in government land to desist before it’s too late because it is not good to suffer demolition of projects over the high cost of building materials.
Earlier in his speech, Chairman Guild of Imo Field Journalists, Comrade Kelechi Ugo said that the group are members of Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ in the Community, State and Zonal based Print and Electronics Media Organization in it’s quest to ensure optimal professionalism and ethical conduct of the members as regards to factual information gathering and dissemination to avoid sentimental reports.
He thanked the Commissioner for accepting the interaction within a short notice and promised that the members of Imo Guild of Field Journalists will partner with him for the promotion of his ministry.