Protest Rocks Enugu As Govt Set To Acquire Forestry Quarters

Residents of Iva Valley in Enugu metropolis, Tuesday, protested the planned demolition and takeover of the Forest Plantation Quarters by the state government.

The occupants of the quarters are mainly retirees of Forestry who have acquired the quarters through the monetisation policy of the regime of former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

The protesters worked along major roads in the metropolis.

“Some pay rents to the government,” a resident, Moses China, said. “This place belongs to the federal government. I was born here. My dad retired in the Forestry.”

Another resident who did not mention his name said, “The state ministry of lands came here about a week ago, and ordered us to leave. They also marked our structures ‘remove’. Where do they want us to go.”

Madam Okpe said, “It will be difficult to leave here. I know that some big men want to occupy here.

“All of us here are doing plant seedling businesses. This is the only place we nurture seedlings of all kinds around here

“The advantage we have is that we have regular supply of water here. This place was built by the colonial masters. After the Forest Plantation Quarters, we have the Coal Corporation quarters. The two agencies belong to the federal government. What is the business of Enugu State here?”

The protesters carried placards bearing inscriptions like ‘If the government allows this injustice to prevail, they should forget about our votes in 2023’.

‘Did we vote you to punish us?”, and ‘Say no to land grabbers’.

Efforts to speak with the state commissioner for lands, Chidi Aroh, failed as he did not answer the calls put across to him.

Many of the buildings in the area were marked ‘remove before August 2’.

The inhabitants of the suburb are estimated at about five thousand.

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