Members of some communities in the Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, comprising Agwa, Ejemekwuru, Akabor, Umuofor and Izombe have cried out over alleged proposals for Ruga settlements in their areas, dismissing the project as a security threat that may spell doom for their communities if ignored. In spite of assurances, the communities, which spoke through their separate spokespersons, urged the government to take the project to other parts of the state as the project is a ‘Greek Gift’ to their communities.
But, the state government, however, allayed the fears of the apprehensive people in the oil bearing agricultural communities, describing the rumoured RUGA project as unfounded and baseless. While chanting solidarity songs, the people held fresh palm fronds and carried placards with various such as: “Agwa people say no to RUGA, livestock farming or the likes”; “Akabor people say no to RUGA livestock farming or cattle rearing.”
The aggrieved mem bers of the communities were said to have gathered at Community Primary School, Ejemekwuru, where the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, on behalf of Governor Hope Uzodinma tried to disabuse their minds against the rumour, but all to no avail. While addressing the people, he explained that the proposed $180 million Dollar project to be executed by the Federal Government in collaboration with the African Development Bank, tagged Special Agro Processing Zone (SAPZ) had nothing to do with the controversial RUGA settlement.