Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Akwa Ibom community petitions reps over ‘land grab by army’

Akwa Ibom community petitions reps over ‘land grab by army’
September 27
12:25 2023

Some residents of Abak LGA of Akwa Ibom have petitioned the house of representatives over an alleged acquisition of their land by the army without adequate compensation.

The petition was presented to the house during plenary on Tuesday by Clement Jimbo, an All Progressives Congress (APC) member representing Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika federal constituency of Akwa Ibom. 

The residents are from five villages in Abak LGA — Bagwa, Ikot Afaha, Okon, Itung and Mbarakom.

They filed the petition under the aegis of Wellington Bassey Barracks Community Development Forum.


The petitioners claimed that the community land was acquired by the Nigerian army in 1972 to establish the cantonment 6 battalion, Wellington Bassey barracks, along Abak/Ikot Abasi road.

Citing a newspaper report, the residents said part payment of N2.1 million was made to the community in 1980 with the outstanding balance of N2.3 million not paid to date.

“Concerted efforts were made to get full payment in 2002, but it proved abortive,” the petition reads.


“It beats our imagination whether the full payment of the compensation will be made on the rapture day for our ancestors to have a second share.

“The Army team that conducted the first cognizance exercise as far back as August 1972 did see that the land where the Army Cantonment and Army Barracks is situated was not previously a virgin land nor a disputed land.

“It was a residential area which the Army compulsorily acquired and are enjoying our God-given economic trees and crops which abound all over our land free of charge, from the inception to date, to the exclusion and detriment of the rightful owners.”

The petitioners are demanding a full compensation that accounts for inflation and exchange rate fluctuations over the years. 


The residents also asked the house to ensure that the army pays all accrued royalties to the communities from 1977 to date.

The petitioners called for the construction of Ibagwa, Okonn, Itung and Abak Usung Atai roads to ease transportation within the communities.

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