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Elelenwo People Frown At Names Of Projects …Say New Ikoku Motor Parts Market In Elelenwo, Not Iriebe

The way and manner government and private projects and institutions sited on Elelenwo Land are being explained away and named after neighbouring communities sharing common boundaries with Elelenwo has become a major source of concern for the people of Elelenwo in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Government and individual projects located on Elelenwo land but which bear names of adjoining communities include Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Federal Toll Gate, The Adolescent Project (TAP), and Trailer Park among others. In the case of PHCN Sub-station located few metres away from the popular Eleme Junction, the people of Elelenwo queried why it could be named after, Oyigbo instead of Elelenwo.
In a press briefing held in Elelenwo, the Chiefs, elders and good people of Elelenwo who made known their position on the issue to newsmen condemned the deliberate way government and private individuals are undermining the contribution of Elelenwo to nation-building.
Speaking through their Community Development Committee Chairman (CDC) Mr. Francis Nyebuchi Amadi, the people said that for long, the peaceful disposition of Eleienwo has become another away people use to visit them with injustice and also using to deny them of what rightly belongs to them.
According to them, nobody except God chose where Elelenwo is located adding that no community can allow her land to be given away without corresponding privileges attached to it. To this end Elelenwo people disclosed that they are being deprived of all their rights accruable to these privileges of hosting some of these projects on theft land.
Speaking further, the people of Elelenwo expressed greater concern over the recent pronouncement by the Rivers State government to relocate the popular Ikoku Motor Parts Market in Mile 3 Diobu to a new place acquired in Elelenwo but which ironically has being named after Iriebe Commuffity. in theft word, “Elelenwo is gradually losing her identity to her neighbours. Our peaceful nature has really been misconstrued as a sign of weakness But we are never weak when it comes to taking back what rightly belongs to us. On the other hand, we may view this deliberate naming of projects located on our land after our neighbours as the handiwork of mischief makers who are bent on putting Elelenwo people at loggerheads with her neighbours”.
Based on the foregoing, the CDC Chairman, Mr. Francis Nyebuchi Amadi told newsmen that he had on several occasions made some representations to the management of these paratastals especially PHCN Sub-station headed by one Mr. Eresia to revert the name from Oyigbo Sub-station to Elelenwo Substation but nothing has being done in that regard. Mr. Amadi however called on authorities wishing to site any project on Elelenwo land to consult widely before naming such project to avoid identity problem.
Meanwhile, in the early how-s of 30th of January, 2012 the youth of Iriebe Community in their large number attacked all the Elelenwo tenants living in the piece of land located at the Federal Toll Gate telling them to pack out because the said piece of land belongs to Iriebe people. This action has brought unusual tension between the two communities which may eventually lead to break down of peace in the area. To this end the people of Elelenwo however called on authorities concerned to act accordingly by reverting all names of projects located on Elelenwo land to Elelenwo in the interest of peace. The people also seized this opportunity to call on Rivers State Government to call Iriebe people to order to avoid break down of peace as Elelenwo people can not lose an inch of their land to anybody or community no matter how highly placed. ###

Jeff Oguike

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