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RETRACING OF BOUNDARIES: MINISTRY OF LANDS FIXES TUESDAY FOR IFA IKOT OKPON HOUSING ESTATE

UDOM EMMANAbasifreke Effiong
The Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Lands and Town Planning has fixed Tuesday, March 29, 2016 for the retracing of boundaries of the Anua/Ifa Ikot Okpon/Use Offot residential estate.
The Ministry with traditional rulers and youths from the six communities hosting the estate reached the agreement on Tuesday March 22, at a meeting in the conference hall of the Ministry.
The host communities are Eniong Offot, Mbiabong Etoi, Ifa Ikot Okpon, Etoi, Use Offot, and Ifa Ikot Akpan Ndia.
Part of the agreement reached during the meeting was that a team comprising a maximum of three representatives from the host communities and representatives of the Ministry of Lands and Town Planning will be at site to retrace boundaries of the 163.8 hectare of land acquired by the State Government in 1991 for the estate.
The Commissioner for Lands and Town Planning, Prince Uwem Ita Etuk said during the meeting that the entire area by perimeter will be established during the retracing.
Prince Etuk thanked leaders of the communities for taking to dialogue on the issue, called on youths of the communities to sheath their swords and allow government to retrace the boundaries to avoid further encroachment either on government land or the community land.
He said the government was not interested in taking new land from the communities as insinuated in some quarters, but was interested in reclaiming and protecting government land from trespassers.
The clan of Offot, Etebom Sylvanus Okon noted that youths had sold part of the land acquired by government.
He admitted that the government had paid compensation for the land.
“I was a witness when government paid compensation for that land. I am also aware that some youths have trespassed and sold part of that land acquired by government. For this reason, I am in support of the decision to retrace the boundaries of that estate”.
Corroborating the clan head’s position, the village head of Mbiabong Ayanya, Eteidung Cosmos Sampson said government had paid compensation before taking the land, adding that the agitation for payment of compensation by some disgruntled persons was an act of criminality.
Sampson said, “I know that government paid compensation on that land, so as responsible members of the community, we are calling on government to carry on with negotiations on how to bring lasting peace on the issue. I know that the land was taken for overriding public interest”.
He called on government to bring forward necessary materials that can help retrace boundaries of the estate, and appealed that streets in the estate be renamed after famous indigenes from the host communities.
The meeting had in attendance, the Surveyor General of the State, Mrs. Emem Isang; Permanent Secretary Ministry of Lands and Town Planning, Dr. John Markson; Director of Lands, Barr. Ime Ndon; Director of Regional Planning, Elder Etop Ukoh; Director of Town Planning Mrs. Theresa Ating, Director of Estates and Deeds, Mr. Nse Etuk and Head of Town Planning UCCDA, Mr. Effiong Akpan.
Others were, the village head of Anua Offot, Eteidung Angelberti Akpan, village of Ifa Ikot Okpon, Eteidung Uwem Tom Udo, among others

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