The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has accused Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma of forcefully taking hectares of land from the residents for the cattle settlement known as Ruga.
According to the group, some traditional rulers including the Eze Fredick Ogechi Nwachukwu of Umuneke Ngor Okpala Local Government Area in the state is working with the governor and the Nigerian government to turn people’s ancestral lands to Ruga.
IPOB alleged that Uzodinma is plotting to acquire 2000 hectares of land under the pretext of erecting a meat-processing factory on it.
According to IPOB, the lands the governor is trying to seize are in Izombe, Agwa and Akabor in Oguta local government area of Imo State.
According to a statement by the IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, which was made available to SaharaReporters on Wednesday, the group said, “The attention of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn to the plot by the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, to forcefully acquire 2000 hectares of land at Ejemekuru towards Izombe, Agwa and Akabor in Oguta LGA of Imo State, under the guise of building a meat processing factory.
“The communities rejected this disguised project but the state is insisting on forcefully taking the ancestral land from the people. Some paid agents of the Government from Ejemekuru, Izombe, Agwa and Izombe have resorted to using the force of Government to intimidate and corce the citizens into submission.
“The Deputy Governor has since been mobilised to ensure that the government’s agenda is actualised. The Governor through his agents are arm-twisting the Ezeship candidates in Oguta LGA, precisely Izombe, using the proposal as a bait for them. Instead of allowing the rightful and people's choice to emerge, the government wants to use it as a bait to accomplish this anti-people agenda.
“Imo State Government is using acceptance of Ruga as a criterion for who becomes the traditional ruler. The Imo State Government is planning another massacre of Oguta LGA citizens based on the Ezeship issue instead of allowing the wish of the people.
“We gathered that the people of Izombe are comfortable with a certain Estate developer seeking 300 hectares of land for industrial development but the company should ensure that this is not Ruga in disguise. The community will resist any deviation from the planned estate development.
“Izome has peacefully played host to oil companies right from in the sixties. The only land location of Gulf oil later changed to Chevron Nigeria limited and presently acquired by Seplat Energy. Ashland oil was there first but later changed to Addax petroleum. We won't tolerate any attempt to make Izombe a war zone.
“We therefore, warn His Highness Eze Fredick Ogechi Nwachukwu of Umuneke Ngor Okpala LGA is causing harm and pain to the people of Umuneke Ngor, he was collaborating with fulani people to cow business in the local government, thereby using the Fulani to intimidate the citizen of Umuneke Ngor and we are using this medium to relate to him to stop intimidating the people of Umuneke Ngor and her environs because IPOB volunteers will not allow him to continue if any harm come to the people of Umuneke from Fulani terrorists.
“The Eze must be careful in dealing with Fulani and he must move Fulani out from Umuneke Ngor before we come. He won't get easy at all. If Fulani terrorists unleash terror attacks anywhere in Ngor Okpala LGA he will regret his life in this world.”