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C’River Assembly calls for revocation of sale of state-owned quarters, estates in Ogoja

By Our Reporter

The Cross River State House of Assembly has urged the Cross River State Government to revoke and halt the sale of Government Quarters and Estates in Ogoja Local Government, which were built to improve the working conditions of state government employees.

Hon. Thomas Aruku, member of the Ogoja State Constituency who brought the matter of urgent public importance before the house, explained that the government quarters and estate built for its employees were intended to generate revenue for the government and that occupants of the quarters were subjected to rigorous screening and documentation before being assigned the quarters. Adding that the occupants have maintained a cordial relationship with the government since being assigned the quarters.

Hon. Aruku went on to explain that the call to restrain and revoke land sales in the estate became necessary as a result of constant threats and intimidation by unidentified people alleging that the government property had been sold without prior notice to the estate’s occupants and authorisation or notice from the government.

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The matter of urgent public importance made by Hon. Aruku was supported in unison by Hon. Martin Achadu, member of Yala II, Hon. Bette Obi, member of Boki I, and Hon. Ovat Agbor, member of Obubra I.

They asked the government to form a committee to investigate the purported sales of state-owned properties and to invite all parties involved in the illicit sales for questioning.

Additionally, they demanded a thorough explanation from the Ministry of Lands and Housing regarding the actual status of state-owned homes and lands.

The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem, also decried the level of illegal sale of government properties across the state.

He recounted how, in the past, a group of dishonest people in Ikom were prevented from encroaching into the Justice Quarters to build without permission from the government.

Ayambem praised Aruku for bringing forth the matter, pointing out that numerous state government properties had been unlawfully privatised.

He stressed the need for the Assembly to undertake an oversight function on government properties across the state, especially the Fire Service facilities across the state.

The House of Assembly unanimously resolved that the State Government should take proactive measures to prevent and revoke the sale of the Government Quarters and Estate in Ogoja.

The Assembly also resolved that the perpetrators of the illegal sale of government quarters in Ogoja be invited to the Assembly to provide an adequate explanation for the sales.

They urged the government to allow current occupants to purchase their quarters, as was the case in Calabar and Akampka if the quarters were to be sold.

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