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Abia Denies Allocating Land For RUGA



Abia state government has denied a media report that it has allocated land at Osisioma Ngwa, near Aba to the federal government for the establishment of the suspended Rural Grazing Area (RUGA).

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Uche Ihediwa explained this Wednesday while speaking to journalists on the report in Umuahia, the capital, describing the report as unfounded.

He said what happened was that following a request 2014 by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, the state approved a land at Arungwa in Osisioma Council Area for the construction of a trailer park for Aba.

According to him, the proposed project failed to scale through because the land in question is not up to the acreage required for it, adding that since then no activities has been going on there.

The former commissioner for Land, Survey and Urban Planning noted that even at that the land had neither been allocated nor a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) issued for it to the government as required by the law.

Speaking further, the commissioner maintained that allocating land for such project would have been a negation of the opposition of the South East governments’ against the RUGA settlement in the zone.

Insisting that Ikpeazu has been in the forefront of the opposition, he argued that even without the fear of the presence of the RUGA, the state cannot afford the expanse of land said to be required for it.

He fingered a prominent traditional ruler in a neighbouring community in the area for the report which has gone viral and has attracted both local and international inquiries from the administration.

Ihediwa, who wondered why what happened during Jonathan’s era and predates the present administration in the state is connected to the RUGA, said the report is unfortunate, warped, and has no truth.

The commissioner used the forum to deny another report recently credited to a former governor of the state and a serving Senator that during his administration he established a RUGA settlement.

He explained “For the records and in all honesty, what is in Umuchieze in Umunneochi Area Council is a cattle market and not RUGA settlement as claimed by the onetime executive governor of the state.”

At the ocassion were the traditional ruler of the kingdom, HRH Eze Ndukwe Enwereji and the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Barrister Onyebuchi Ememanka among others.