Tension has mounted in Awe local government area of Nasarawa state over illegal demolition of houses and economic trees by a sugar company in Akoh settlement in Tunga area of the state.
Officials of the the company had allegedly invaded the community with bulldozers, destroying houses, food crops and economic trees among other valuables worth millions of Naira on the pretext that the land on which the community is situated had been bought by the company for its sugar refinery.
Addressing newsmen in Akoh, a Tiv settlement area located along Awe-Tunga-Benue border road, a former Senior Special Assistant to Governor Tanko Al-Makura on Local Integration, Hon. Francis Yua, described the action of the company as illegal as they were not informed by anybody about the alleged sales of their land.
Yua who also hails from the affected community said that even if the community had been contacted about it, the right thing was for the company to follow due process by paying the necessary compensation before acquiring the land as stipulated by the law.
The community leader of Akoh, Zaki Mchianan Aliebo, said officials of the company invaded the community with bulldozers, pulling down houses and economic trees without any notification, adding that the community has not been informed about a company acquiring its land.
“I was in a nearby farm when one of my children ran to inform me about the invaders of my community and I quickly left the farm to see what is happening.
“On getting there I saw some people in bulldozers pulling down houses and mango trees and when I asked to know why they were doing so, one of them told me the land had been bought over by the company.
“As the leader of this community, I have never for once been contacted by anybody to sell my land. We are calling on government to come to our aid. This is inhumane,” The community leader said.
On his part, the Community Relations Manager of the Dangote Sugar Refinery in Tunga, Saidu Muhammed, told newsmen that the company was not aware of the demolition.
When contacted, the Emir of Tunga, Alhaji Muhammed Ibrahim, said he did not ordered the demolition of the houses in Akoh
“The company erred in its action and I have contacted the officials of the company to compensate the affected community,” Alhaji Ibrahim said.