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AKHA to stop the abuse of traditional injunctions By Ernest John

The origin of traditional injunctions in the pre-colonial time was meant for settlement of disputes and to maintain law and order in a community. It was not to be used as a threat like what some village heads are doing; using it to get money from land developers.

Through the period of Agriculture to the period of Industrial Development, land has remained the most valuable property in the life of man and his development which mean that one of the basic needs of human existence is land. In view of the importance and usefulness of land to man and his development as well as the development of his society, everyone generally requires acquiring and owning a partition of land to achieve the various ends for which the land is meant. To make land in Nigeria available to all and to properly use it for the needed development, government during and after colonial period enacted laws to govern the use or administration of land in Nigeria”.

A member representing Nsit Atai State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mark Eset moved a motion is not seeking to stop the use of traditional injunctions in the state, rather the motion is seeking to stop the abuse of traditional injunctions on land by some village Heads demanding for community development fees (which at times the amount so much demanded sometimes seem to be more than the cost of the land) from prospective investors and land developers. This has no doubt retarded growth and development of the various communities in the state and has led to the abandonment of projects and investments by land users who may not be able to meet these demands.

There is need for this levy to be regulated by relevant government agencies in the state to prevent this abuse which will in turn encourage community development. If this abuse is not checked, the prospective investors and land developers will find it very difficult to invest in any part the state especially in this era where development is the watch word of the present administration. Development cannot take place in a vacuum, it can only happen in a land. It is a known economic fact that access to land contributes to growth and development of communities and expands productivity presenting opportunities for individuals with more financial resources and political connections to take advantage in investing in the communities thereby leading to a speedy and equitable development of any community anywhere in the world. There is however, the need for proper land management system as a “linchpin” to rural economic development; hence every investor desires to obtain a secured property right which is critical to the development and equitable growth of the communities. A system of property rights that is viewed as legitimate, where land users can use their claim for collateral, for agricultural inputs, improvement, innovations and expansion of their enterprises.

For this to be achieved, there is need for a more secured, ascertained and regulated operations of land revenue practices in the communities and villages across the state, a trustworthy and vibrant land administration that will encourage investment and development as no one will be very willing to invest where there is no certainty of practice. The Akwa Ibom 6th House of Assembly saddled with the responsibilities of taking practical steps to encourage development in the state and the nation at large to direct the appropriate agencies of government through the ministry of land and housing and ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs to beam their search lights on the activities of this village councils in a bid to regulate their activities in this regard.

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