Imo State Govt Demolishes Umuoba Village’s Only Primary School Without Compensation or Alternative

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The people of Umuoba Village, Ezeachi Community in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State, have expressed outrage over the destruction of their only primary school by the state government under Governor Hope Uzodinma.

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The residents lamented that their children have been left without a place to learn, as no alternative educational facilities or compensation have been provided to the village.

Engr. Chibuzor Okorie, Chairman of Umuoba Development Union, told SaharaReporters that the school was demolished after the state government took over the land without any formal communication or compensation. The school, established before the 1970s, continued to function even after being used as a military camp during the war.

Okorie explained, “After the war, the government continued servicing the land. The Police Squadron rented part of it, paying for economic trees they cut down but not for the land itself. Despite this, the school remained operational. Recently, our community was shocked to see machines and personnel moving in without any official notification. Our people were still farming there, and their crops were destroyed.”

The villagers mobilized and approached various authorities, including the DPO of Orlu Area Police Command and the Commissioner of Police in Owerri, seeking answers and intervention. However, no arrests were made, and no clear information was provided.

Okorie detailed the events leading to the demolition, stating, “The contractor, Granburg, said they were asked to build a perimeter fence, but the community was not informed. Our state representative, Hon. Ikenna Ihezue, initially claimed ignorance but later said he attracted the project and promised compensation, which has not been forthcoming. The demolition occurred while children were in school, causing injuries to some teachers and forcing the pupils to run for safety.”

Currently, the displaced pupils and their teachers are using the village town hall, which is also rented out to other groups. Okorie noted that the traditional ruler and other community leaders were unaware of the developments until the demolition.

At a town hall meeting presided over by Okorie, state lawmaker Ihezue confirmed that the project was for a government house annex extension. He explained that the governor intended to develop Orlu as part of preparations for the proposed Orlu State, emphasizing the constitutional provisions allowing for land acquisition for public interest.

Ihezue assured the community, “The Land Use Act empowers the governor to acquire land for public use, and compensation must be given. While there might be delays, compensation cannot be denied. The perimeter fence is being constructed urgently, but compensation will follow.”

He stressed that the project would benefit future generations, and he pledged to ensure the community received the promised compensation.

Adeniyi Ogunfowoke, The Naija247news
Adeniyi Ogunfowoke, The Naija247newshttps://naija247news.com/
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