The developers are land grabbers in disguise – Dr. Nnamdi Ilodiuba

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The President General, Nteje Development Union (NDU) Dr. Nnamdi Ilodiuba, has assured Nteje people that the town has gradually and progressively stabilised after protracted periods of uncertainty and violence. Recall, parts of Nteje were engulfed in violence as scammers and grabbers invaded the town. The President General in an interview with Stadt newspaper assured the people that peace and stability have returned as he called for continued trust and meaningful supports for his government to facilitated quality development of the town. He insisted that his administration has the capacity and the dispositions to surmount all obstacles in Nteje. Dr. Ilodiuba, therefore, invited Nteje people home and in diaspora to be cooperative in terms of constructive ideas and finances. In his own words, “our continues successes will be impossible without your good followership. We are promising to do our best”. Excepts:

Good day, President General, Nteje Development Union (NDU). Thank you for the honour of this interaction with STADT Newspaper. Without wasting time, how would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Dr. Nnamdi Ilodiuba, popularly, called Orator. I am a retired Naval Officer. I served Nigerian Military (Nigerian Navy) approximately 20 years, and I served meritoriously. I retired and joined Oil Companies one of which is General Electric of America. I served them as Health, Safety and Environment Manager. When I left the company, I established a company named Maximas Securitas Consult Limited. I am a Safety and Security Professional as a matter of fact, I have carved a niche in these areas. In the sphere of specialisation, I am number 35th globally. And so, if somebody is the number 35th , it is evident that the person is indeed known.

From some indications, you’re hardly in Nteje for so long, what informed your decisions to head the leadership, particularly, now the town is noticeably in bad shapes?

It is true, I have been away from Nteje due to the nature of my profession; however, I am fully in touch with events in the town. The urgency of interventions by a capable person informed my determinations to come and serve. For more than 15 years now, Nteje has not had the benefits of good leadership. The need for salvaging the situation brought me. Refusal to serve was never an option for me. There was a need for a Messiah of a kind. Generally, for me, this is a call for enormous sacrifices to rescue a figurative sinking ship. Taking up the responsibility was inevitable, thank God that I am now available. In summary, I have been away for some time, but I have been in touch being deeply concerned with the home. It is important to note, emphatically, that my job has given me the chance to be available and it is only reasonable I use the opportunity to add value to my community, Nteje.

Nteje people are bitter that the town is destabilised. There is widespread violence allegedly by criminals in fraudulent land deals. What are your immediate plans to bring order to the chaos and reassure the people?

There is no doubt that the activities of land grabbers in Nteje have been catastrophic. I am aware of this ever before my government came on board. So, what we have done, firstly, was to put a stop to the illegalities. Consequently, we insisted that all lands particularly community lands must be registered in the NDU’s office. Secondly, we have insisted that before any land is sold in future the appropriate owner must sign authorising the transaction and the PG must countersign to authenticate the sale.
The essence of this measure was to put everyone on the same pedestal. Importantly, because the lands are registered with NDU, the owner(s) is by implication known and before the plan to sell is perfected the seller must notify the office of the President General. These measures certainly increase the easy and assure the parties of the legitimacies of the deals. These measures, potentially, curtail the activities of land grabbers and scammers. My conviction is that these measures create opportunities for sanity and eschew possibilities of conflicts in land related transactions. Presently, we have issued a memo directing communities to register jointly owned lands. This is a must. This helps to maintain the order and improves the qualities of the dealings.

So far, what were the levels of compliance to the directives to get the community lands registered?

There is a significant compliance, due to the understanding that we struct the right cords. Now both the buyers and prospective land sellers have started coming to us. Some buyers have presented documents of the lands they bought in the past for authentications and those proposing to sell have also came for necessary actions. In the meantime, the compliance is significantly impressive.

Do you see the duties of stabilising and restoring confidence in Nteje difficult on account of popular assumptions that the man behind all the problems in the town is Powerful and well connected?

(Laughter) Well! Personally, I have no believe that there is an individual in Nteje that is so powerful or more powerful than the whole people of Nteje. More so, these assumptions were based on the perspectives that were full of errors. Some of the assumptions were based on ignorance and false logic.

In the first place before the assumption of the office, I am quite aware of the difficulties and the needs of Nteje. There are difficulties in governance no matter the level and place. I have always said that I don’t believe in groups, my loyalty is the collective interest of Ndi Nteje. I am the president of NDU and not of a particular group(s). My focus rises and falls on the need for the unification, ensuring security and the promotions of all that can facilitate rapid development of Nteje. This is consistently my stand. I am calling everyone to support our plans for quality development in Nteje. Every hand must be on deck. The duties of making Nteje fit for all purposes are collective responsibilities. Let no one be by the side, blaming and accusing others of being so powerful. Let us come on board so that we see how one single individual can thwart the efforts of the whole town. I am no longer in doubt that there are people who made up their minds to consider some people so powerful and obstructive to the progress of Nteje. These armchair critics are always on the fence waiting for something to go wrong so as to re-echo their predictions. On these notes, therefore, I invite everyone to be part of the progress, put in whatever you can because making Nteje great is everyone’s urgent task. If you are contributing no one will claim monopoly of what has been contributed. It is practically impossible for anyone to hijack Nteje if we are all involved. As much as   the task of stabilising and moving Nteje forward are really challenging we are moving on. This administration is committed to ensuring positive impact on all areas of major interest.

Akamanato people are hassled on accounts of severe difficulties of food and economic survival since the farms were stolen and taken over by thieves using Nigerian Security Personnel to maintain the loot. What are you doing to save the situation?

When we came on board, we discovered the problems and our first efforts at the resolution of the crisis were to summon the presumed developers who are land grabbers in disguise and we told them that they cannot stop our people from farming in the lands. We instructed them to bring the documents that gave them the rights over the lands. However, some presented something others did not and so what we did was to mediate with the Anambra state government. The government therefore dusted the findings of a tribunal it set up earlier on Ifite land which indicted those involved in the Ifite land scams. These were contained in a White Paper Report, in a kind of reconsideration, the state government requested anyone that has invested on the land to present evidences and those whose involvements were fraudulent to leave. Now the state government has finally decided to go into the land and destroyed all unauthorised structures in the lands. Hotels and residential buildings found on the farms were demolished. As at now, seventy percent of the lands have been recovered and the recoveries are progressively on going. The recovered farm lands have been given back to the original owners. The villagers interviewed expressed joy and applauded the government of Prof. Charles Soludo for helping them recover their lands. They promised the governor of bumper harvest. NDU, collaborated with the state government to ensure implementation of the report of the White Paper on Ifite Nteje, land.

What level of solidarity are you expressing in support of Ifite Nteje, specifically, Akamanato whose communal farm lands were mostly invaded by the scammers?

The NDU actively supported the efforts of Ndi Akamanato and indeed Ifite to reclaim their farm lands. It will be negligent for us not to walk in solidarity with the victims of the land scam. We are happy the efforts we made were abundantly fruitful. The Akamanato saw the sincerity of our efforts and they were satisfied. We are grateful too that Akamanato used effectively the life-lines we offered them and the results were resounding successes.

You prohibited Ifite Nteje Development Union, INDU. What informed your decisions for such action?

I banned INDU just like other illegal organisations or associations that were unconstitutional. INDU is unnecessary, and by definition a parallel government and it cannot be tolerated because it is unlawful. We banned all such groups or associations in Nteje. We found these groups as vehicles for destabilisation of Nteje in general.

Recently, Nteje celebrated IWA JI Ceremony and ended it with Meetings. How do you access the successes of the event?

I am delighted to inform STADT Newspaper that this was the first Iwa Ji Festival under my leadership, and the first I ever organised or participated in my entire life. My joy and satisfaction were profound that the ceremony was the most successful in the history of the event in Nteje. My contentment mainly was that 2023 was the first time Nteje had peaceful and accident-free celebrations. There was no uprising, it was done so peacefully that people enjoyed themselves. People slept with their two eyes closed. This was because there was peace in Nteje, there was security in Nteje. There were assurances of safety in the town.

The President General, Nteje Development Union (NDU) Dr. Nnamdi Ilodiuba

Besides, the Iwa Ji, the accompanying meetings were outstandingly very successful. We have for the first time in the chronicles of Nteje where the people gathered in uniformity home and abroad to deliberate the way forward for Nteje. The thousands of people that attended the NDU meetings both online and offline were unprecedented. By my description, it was very successful and people attested to the successes.

What are your messages to Ndi Nteje home and abroad?

My messages are those of hope, the trust with which they handed over the leadership of the town to my team will not be disappointed. With continued trust and supports we must surmount all obstacles in Nteje. I invite us all to be cooperative in terms of constructive ideas and finances. Our continues successes will be impossible without your active followership. We are promising to do our best.
So far, we have been able to put speed breakers in some of our roads. These were instrumental to accident-free Nteje as vehicles now move in Nteje at regulated speed and we have been saved from frequent agonies of accidents. We have also launched active campaigns against Drug Abuse. Illicit use of drugs accounts for all the criminalities that plagued Nteje in the recent past. With the ongoing collaborations with NDLEA and related security agencies our fight against drug abuse particularly the use of Mkpulu Nmili have started yielding expected results. A committee has been formed to ensure continuity of the campaign.

Nteje has no traditional ruler, after the death of the Former Igwe, Roland Odegbo there has not been overt efforts for replacement. What is the position of NDU on this?

As you know the Igweship of Roland Odegbe started with controversy, continued with people like Professor Charles Aduaka and others contesting the enthronement and the disputes were not resolved until the Igwe’s departure. The contestation of the seat was in the Supreme Court undecided before the death. I learnt the case has been withdrawn. Just about two months ago, Ifite Nteje elders wrote the state governor insisting it was their turn to produce the next Igwe. The matter was referred to the relevant Commissioner who summoned Nteje stakeholders and after some discussions the stakeholders were told go home and discuss the matter and possibly agree on the next Igwe and report back to the Commissioner. Nteje stakeholders have met and have discussed the matters a number of times and are working very hard to arrive at a consensus candidate. So, with these meetings, I can confirm that there were overt efforts at getting a new Igwe for Nteje. And by special grace of God the incoming Igwe will be acceptable to all of Nteje people.

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