Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project Under Threat over Activities of Land Speculators

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By Sule Sani

Scramble over land ownership on the Mambilla plateau may constitute a major threat to the take off of the 3050 MW multi billion dollar Mambilla Hydro Project.

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Investigation by our Correspondent revealed that various individuals and concerns are battling to acquire parcels of land especially in areas across the River Donga which is to housed part of the project.

According to the sources, some prominent personalities from the state were said to have secured certificate of occupancy for large potions of land, without the consent of land owners in the areas where the project is suppose to be sited, with a view to grabbing the compensation to themselves.

The sources also revealed that the natives who are both farmers and herders residing in areas such as Barup, Tep, Mbamnga, Kwarakwara, Yambam, Hainare, Warwar, Vakkude, among several others have vowed not to relinquish their land without due compensation.

Speaking to our correspondent in Gembu, headquarters of Sardauna Local Government on Wednesday, Mr. Albert Dominic said several people have, in recent weeks, been trooping to Barup, War war, Mbu, Tamviya and Tep areas to purchase land.

Similarly, Umaru Jalike who also spoke to our correspondent from Hainare expressed concern over the illegal occupation of a disputed land belonging to Ardo Hassan Family in Mayomodowa, all in anticipation of getting compensation from Federal Ministry of Power.

Both Albert and Umaru expressed fear that if the recent trend of indiscriminate purchase of land on the Mambilla Plateau is not checked, it may raise serious concerns for the implementation proposed Mambilla Hydroelectric Dam.

When contacted, the Chairman Caretaker Committee of Sardauna Local Government Area, Mr. Oliver Wubon advised land owners in the area to desist from selling their land to Land Speculators.

He noted that the Federal Ministry of Power will follow due process in the demarcation, assessment and compensation of lands that would be affected.

The Chairman similarly warned land owners to be cautious of land speculators with dubious intention.