Govt converts disputed land into coconut plantation, to assuage communities

Uyo, March 24, 2017 (TNE):The Akwa Ibom Government has taken over a piece of land to assuage two warring communities in the state, the Nigerian Expression reports.
The state government has now converted the disputed 15,000-hectare land to a coconut plantation.
The land lying between Mkpat Enin and Eastern Obolo Local Government Areas had been a source of protracted conflict between the two local government areas.
However, the Odoro Ikot Community which consists of Ikot Ekpang, Ikot Inyang Okop and
Ibio-Ete in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, claimed  that government acquired their land illegally for the coconut project without paying compensation.
The people recently staged a peaceful demonstration at  Ikot Ekpang, accusing the state government of destroying their farmlands which they described as their main source of livelihood.
The Commissioner for Lands and Town Planning, Mr Ime Ekpo, confirmed that government had taken over the land in dispute to plant coconut and establish a refinery, and gave the assurance that adequate compensation would be paid after enumeration.
”The communities agreed that government should take the area and do whatever it wants to use it for.
”The surveyors are already there and until they complete the survey work, we cannot publish revocation notice and we cannot carry out enumeration for payment of compensation.
”’Let there be peace so that government can complete its own action and  pay the compensation,” Ekpo said.
He said that government was working with the relevant stakeholders in  the affected communities “to ensure that peace reigns”
He appealed to the people to remain calm and allow the site workers access to complete the survey and enumeration for the payment of  compensation.(TNE)
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