Ogoni youths blame alleged govt seizure of farmlands on elders’ betrayal

By EGUFE YAFUGBORHI

PORT HARCOURT— YOUTHS of Tai in Ogoni, Rivers State, have accused their elders and leaders of mortgaging their communal interests following alleged government seizure of farmlands in their communities.

The state government had been at loggerheads with landowners in the area since earmarking several hectares of land in Uekem and other neighbouring Ogoni communities to a Mexican firm for the development of a banana plantation.

At a special prayer session in Uekem, yesterday, to seek God’s intervention in the communities’ face-off with the government over the land seizure, the aggrieved youths accused the community leaders of secretly collecting gratifications on the land.

Pastor Nwikeigi Nbugere, who led the special prayer session, alleged: “They went to government, collected N7 billion and came to the community to say that the money government gave to them was not enough. Till date, they have not declared how much they received.

“The challenges we are facing today are because the chiefs and elders betrayed us. The community and youths of Ueken have decided to turn to God for divine intervention. We can no longer trust our chiefs and elders, who have sold our destinies without considering our future.” he added.

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