By G9ija

Members of Anambra Housing Cooperation Limited (AHOCOL), Phase II Estate GRA, Awka, on Wednesday protested alleged land grabbing by suspected agents of the State Housing Development Cooperation (ASHDC).

The protesters, comprising three Permanent Secretaries and over twenty Professors said the land situated in the estate had been serving its residents for recreation, relaxation and other social events for over 20years it was allocated to them by government.

Addressing newsmen at the estate, Chairman of the estate, Prof Stanley Udedi, accused the ASHDC Managing Director, Arch Willie Okafor and the purported buyer, one Mr. Kingsley Nwafor of plans to sell the land to private individuals at the expense of the public interest it was originally meant for.

He explained that the residents had committed much in securing and developing the said land into a functional masterpiece, including construction of a bungalow and sand-filling the heavily waterlogged portion.

He said the estate leadership had petitioned Governor Willie Obiano, Secretary to State Sovernment, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu and Speaker, House of Assembly, Hon. Uchenna Okafor over the matter.

He said, “Our children and young adults use the center for their many sporting activities including football, table tennis, badminton while our elders use same for evening relaxation and as hypertension/stress free center.

“The leadership surprisingly got a letter from the ASHDC signed by one ESV A.I. Nwofor conveying the information of the purported sale of of the center to one Mr. Kingsley Nwafor.

“This letter, the first of its kind since we took over the estate from the defunct AHOCOL has generated bitterness and rancor in the state since receipt.

“To worsen the matter, the purported buyer has been harassing the entire estate with thugs, attacking both the estate executives and security men generating serious tension in the estate.”

While raising alarm over a impending crisis ocassioned by the alleged land grabbing, Udedi said the residents were ready to go to court if the agents insisted on going on with their plans.

The State Housing Development Cooperation (ASHDC), had in a letter to the Chairman, Residents Association, AHOCOL Housing Estate, dated October 27, 2020, disclosed that the open space had been allocated to residential land use developers.

The letter signed by Director of Estate Services, ESV. A.I. Nwofor and obtained by our correspondent, partly read, “It is imperative to bring to your notice that the open spaces of the estate earlier designated for recreational uses, which has been fallow and undeveloped for the past 20 years, has been dezoned and fly allocated to genuine residential land use developers.

“The corporation is a planning authority under the law over all her estates, thus, our review policy is in line with international best practices which permits review/appraisal every five years.

“We hope that the review will bring growth and eliminate unpleasant activities within the subject areas of the estate.

“Please, note that all allottees of the estate are expected to commence developments up to habitable stage within two years as stated in their allocation letters, failure to comply, attracts revocation without any notice.”