By Amos Egboche
Land Racketeering and land disputes across Nigeria
The problem of Land Racketeering has become a norm in Africa as its origin dates back to the days of the Colonial Masters. Prior to the independence of so many African Countries
The foreign Lords who plundered these areas wanted to ensure they still maintained some level of authority over the lands and Africa raw materials.
Thus, they formed policies in agreement with their most loyal ethnic groups so as to ensure they maintain access to all the natural resources found within those lands.
Since the enacted Government is deemed to own the land, it then means that even inherited properties can be seized from resident indigenes and where they deem it necessary, compensations are made.
In many cases, these compensation processes are either incomplete or not met at all. The implication then means that only the Government institution is allowed to allocate lands through a stringent application process that in most cases is factional and biased.
Here the applicant must either be from the ethnic group, religion, or political clique faction in order to qualify for “proper” allocation. The ripple effect of this problem has evolved and developed over the past decades and still growing.
The number one resultant effect of this mayhem is the fact that over time the allocation procedure of land being in the hand of Government Officials gets abused.
In our case study using Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Nigeria for example, the FCT minister has the sole prerogative of land allocation.
In the last two and a half years, various tribal groups have held this position. Thus, the baton of this seat has led to various conflicting allocations.
At a time when it was Igbo female minister, she ensured her people got a lot of allocations. Later the baton came to a Hausa tribesman who did likewise.
Subsequently, an Okene tribesman further mismanaged it by dishing out double allocations to his own people over lands that have already been apportioned.
All across these various tenures, it became very evidently clear that there was no merit basis as only those who have access to the sitting Minister or his aides are able to get land allocations.
The lower cadre of Official fraudsters is those greedy fellows under at the Area District levels. Since they have access to original land documents that are yet to be developed, they find a way to keep allocating them even long after they have retired.
The worse part that is disheartening in this scenario is the mishandling of original Indigenes. Take the Gbagi population for instance who surrendered their lands in the interest of National Unity but were denied their dues for almost four decades, they were promised a land swap scheme; a strategy that was to involve the alternative provision of lands along with financial compensation settlements.
An outstanding N2.8B bill since 1975 has acquired accrued interest which has not been resolved to date. Another empty promise that has proved to be futile as well as the strategy of re-integration since the government has not been able to afford their outstanding.
Not even 30% of the land Swap Scheme has been accomplished at all. Thus, the majority of original resident occupants of the FCT has never been settled.
Sadly, these marginalized communities have fruitlessly applied to the Federal Capital Development Authorities for just 76 hectares of their ancestral homeland and were blatantly denied.
Whereas a lot of non-indigenous individuals who are either politically inclined or financially capable have gotten allocations ranging from 100 Hectares to over 500 Hectares.
In addition to the injury, there has been a lot of fraudulent mass Housing allocations to “Ghost Developers” who are said to be leasing these lands without settling outstanding statutory requirements, rates, government payments, and fees amounting to millions of Naira.
According to a documented report;
“From 2010 to June 2018, the total fees collected amounted to N1, 086,750,000 only. This falls far short of the amount that ought to have been realized by the FCT.
Considerations for original indigenes have never been set as a priority by the government.
Despite the countless questions unanswered, the Government is still trying to pursue a grazing bill that will empower nomads above original owners of these lands nationally.
Although very sad indeed, there are no authorities within or outside the country that has listened to the plight of the people. Not to mention the unrestrained holocaust and massacre that has been prevailing against marginalized communities where terrorist groups, military factions, and religious rebels are allowed to overrun, evacuate, and occupy these areas without qualms.
This madness going on against the innocent people of this poorly recognized country will seriously need some form of foreign intervention from international bodies like the UN (United Nations) and other well-meaning countries that have the peace of Nigeria at heart.
On a daily basis, Kidnapping, insurgency, and mass killing are becoming a norm as the current government is more bent on self-perpetuation along with reinforced dictatorship over the will of the people.
To crown their “good efforts” they will rather negotiate with the terrorists and compensate them as their own indigenes than identity with the cry of these marginalized “strangers” who are ideally supposed to be regarded citizens of their motherland since they do neither belong to the tribe of the authoritarians nor practice the same religion.
The call is on for all in Diaspora and all in highly placed positions of NGOs and the likes to harken to the plight of the people. Since these marginalized communities do not have sufficient capacity for self-defense to oppose these hoodlums, any voice that can aid the quick end of this current tyranny will be highly appreciated.
If only the infiltrated arms of the Government can be purged of cankerworms with pillar worms in the seat of power while proper Judgements are followed through to ensure perpetrators are ruthlessly handled, only then can peace begin to gain dominance.
This will really give a great sigh of relief to the helpless masses forcefully ruled to accept the predestined barbaric fate hatched by friendly “wolves” in sheep’s clothing.
It is very important to verify and validate that land before you buy it. You can enquire through +2348067187090.. Also, have your say on this ‘Land Racketeering and land disputes across Nigeria’ by dropping your comment using the comment box. Amos Egboche reporting from Afrin Notes Africa Multipurpose portal for Africa global tiers. in all stay safe and remain blesse. ALSO READ: The menace of home deficit in Africa, Still by Amos Egboche