Prince Odey Oyama
The planned sale of parts of Effi community land in Okuni, Ikom Local Government of Cross River state to some unknown Chinese nationals has been described as a scam.
The Effi Peoples’ Action Forum (EPAF) and the Rainforest Resources and Development Centre (RRDC) had in petition issued by the Executive Director of RRDC, Prince Odey Oyama on their behalf alleged that, “Barr Ichire Imo Okim, acting in concert with the Council of Chiefs of Effi Community, has devised a new and dangerous plot to negotiate Effi Community lands and properly with Chinese foreign nationals, without disclosing the details of the transactions (in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding – MOU) to the Elders, sons and daughters of Effi Community”.
But Okim in a statement dated August 24, expressed dismay over what he called harassment of the Effi traditional rulers who are his client by security agents, saying they have done no wrong.
He explained that, “Chinese nationals only visited our community and said that they want something from our community, whether we agree or not, shouldn’t have been an issue, unfortunately the visit has become an issue. In the first instance,my clients Effi traditional rulers, had not even entered into any agreement with the Chinese nationals, unfortunately it became an issue”.
However, the people of Effi through EPAF and the RRDC in a fresh statement on Thursday issued by Prince Oyama for the two groups, are insisting that “Effi Community land is not going to be the subject of any secret deal with unknown and uncertified Chinese.Effi Community land will not be converted into China Town because of the unbridled greed of a few.
“The sons and daughters of Effi Community will not be turned into tenants on their ancestral heritage because of the greed of a few” and called for the rejection of the land lease deal which they said it and territory being negotiated with the Chinese extends far beyond Mike’s Plant territory. Mike’s Plant is only the nucleus”.
They argued that the entire process of the Chinese deal is shrouded in secrecy and “the number of years involved in the transaction is very far above 25 years.The amount of money involved in the deal is far above that which is being declared.
“Even the blind can perceive the scam. No person who has respect for his native land would contrive to sign an agreement with Chinese and keep the contents hidden from fellow compatriots”.
They further said, “no person who would contrive to enter into agreements with Chinese without allowing the members of the community to know the contents of the agreement should ever be trusted with the affairs of Effi Community”.