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Ayade’s Commissioner fingered in alleged Land Grabbing in Calabar

A prominent serving Commissioner in Governor Ayade’s administration has been allegedly accused of land grabbing in the Ekorinim area of Calabar Municipality Area of Cross River State.

The involvement of the Commissioner is a clear negation of Governor Ayade’s government that has the peaceful coexistence of both indigenes and non-indigenes alike as a core policy of his administration.

Investigations by our Correspondent revealed that the accused Commissioner who shares an office with the Ministry of Information and Orientation, opposite Cultural Center Complex, Calabar, may have been abusing the privileges of his office and dragging the cherished image of the government and good people of Cross River State to the mud.

Documents made available to our reporter show that Mr Mande Dangiwa, a Senior officer with the Nigerian Ports Authority (retired) and an indigene of Kaduna South had purchased a piece of land from one Mr Edet Nyong (Ausciano Resources) in December 2021, with traceable data regarding ownership in the Office of the Surveyor General of the State, the Cross River Geographic Information System and the Ministry of Lands.

In line with the government-approved guidelines and procedures, Mr Dangiwa went ahead to get building approval from the appropriate quarters to commence the development of the property in February 2022.

According to him “I have commenced   work  on the land  in earnest, only for the Commissioner for Land, Prof. John Inyang to reallocate same plot of land to his Environment counterpart, Mr Mfon Bassey, under some unfounded pretexts, claiming the lands belong to the government.”

“As a law-abiding Nigerian, I have made concerted efforts, meeting both Prof. Inyang (Commissioner for Lands) and Mr Bassey (Commissioner for Environment) to resolve the issue. But all I am told is that the land has been taken over by the Governor’s right-hand man (Mfon Bassey) on the order of Governor Ben Ayade”

“The Same Mfon Bassey, in one of our meetings had asked me(Dangiwa) to collect my money from whoever I bought the land from and offered me another plot of lands at Judges Quarters, Ekorinim, for a whopping price of 30 million Naira.”

“And just last week Thursday, 19th of May, 2022, Prof. Inyang confirmed that he had asked Mr Mfon Bassey to accept a new property elsewhere to enable me (Dangiwa) to retain the land in question as the rightful owner, in his characteristic manner, Mfon Bassey had refused.

when our reporter visited the said land, according to Mr Dangiwa, the Environment Commissioner had allegedly used his thugs to demolish the temporal security post erected by Dangiwa, and commenced his work on the site, staging armed security guards to resist anyone entry into the property.

Speaking further, Dangiwa said, “How can people who should be seen as role models in the society choose to visit a fellow Nigerian, who has contributed to the growth and development of Calabar and Cross River State, with such unconscionable atrocity?

“Mfon Bassey and his cohorts must stop abusing their offices as government officials, trampling on the rights of others. No matter their placement in society, they should not turn our dear State into a lawless fiefdom. Mfon Bassey must desist from such unlawful land grabbing actions.

“As a people, we must maintain our inviolable ethos of ‘live and let live,’ which is why people choose Cross River State as the most peaceful in the Country,” he concluded.

Efforts to speak with the Environment Commissioner, Mr Mfon Bassey, who also doubles as the Commissioner for Agriculture, were unsuccessful as several calls made to his phone number to say his side of the story could not get through.

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