(Sundiata Post) – The traditional ruler of Ukwu-Uzu town, Delta State, his chiefs and youth groups, have debunked the allegation that the community is in turmoil over the exploitation of lignite and kaolin deposits.
In a meeting of the entire community at the palace of Obi Christopher Ogoh 1, Obi of Ukwu-Uzu, the allegation of some erstwhile officials of the Ukwu-Uzu Development Union (UDU) were rejected as false, malicious and driven by selfish ambitions.
In a statement signed by Obi Christopher Ogoh 1, Obi of Ukwu-Uzu, Chief Emmauel Aniemeke Okeleke, Isama of Ukwu-Uzu and Ikechukwu Okonkwo, the Youth Leader, the community said that lignite and Kaolin were recently discovered in commercial quantity at Ukwu-Uzu in Aniocha North local government area of Delta State with a private company liaising with the community’s leaders with a view to setting up shop for their extraction after reaching agreement with the town on compensation.
In a general meeting involving the entire community at the monarch’s palace weekend, the Obi-in-Council, youths, farmers and market groups frowned at a report orchestrated by some members of the caretaker committee of UDU where it was alleged that two prominent sons of the town used security men to disrupt a meeting to negotiate with officials of the company on compensation.
Explaining to his subjects, Obi Ogoh 1 said the meeting on September 22 was a general town hall meeting with every adult in attendance to deliberate on developments over the exploitation of the two mineral deposits. While the meeting was apprising the indigenes on the modalities for negotiations with the company interested in the project, a section of the now dissolved acting executive council of UDU had begun negotiating with the company without authorisation.
According to the monarch, it was only after the company’s management demanded proof of authorisation from the team that their undehand deal was exposed.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Adimabua Abiamuwa from Inyogo quarter stated that the meeting was peaceful and deliberated on how the community can derive optimum benefit from the collaboration with the private community. Also speaking, Mr. Ikechukwu Okonkwo, a youth leader from Ogbeagidi quarter said the persons behind the falsehood were out to set the community in commotion and pitch it against the government of Delta State, vowing that they will resist any move to bring discord into the town that has enjoyed peace under its royal father.
Mr Nnamdi Isaac Okeke noted that the community has never had security presence at any of its meetings and the said meeting of September 22, 2016 was peaceful and rancour-free as there was no disturbance during or after the meeting. He urged the Obi-in-Council to invoke a curse on anybody that should instigate a breach of peace in the community or bring the reputation of its people to disrepute.
The community resolved to constitute a team made of seven representatives from each of the five quarters to collaborate with the Obi-in-Council in negotiating with representatives of the company involved in exploiting the solid mineral deposits. They passed a vote of confidence on Chief Dan Okenyi, Delta State Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Development and Chief Emmanuel Ebo, Executive Assistant, Political, to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
They also pledged to remain law abiding and cooperate with the government of Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa who they expressed appreciation to for approving a road project to link their town with neighbouring communities.