Delta State Governnent has said community lands are only acquired by it for overriding public interest.
The State Commissioner for Lands and Surveys, Barr. (Mrs) Kate Onianwa, stated this on Thursday when a delegation of the Umuodafe community, Ibusa, in Oshimili North Local Governnent Area paid her a courtesy call.
Mrs Onianwa said the overriding public interest was mainly for development purposes, adding that it was one sure way of attracting development to the communities.
She explained that such acquisitions were usually negotiated with the communities concerned and compensation paid, pointing out that in extreme cases some acquired lands could be deacquired and given back to enable the communities expand.
The Commissioner, however, noted that division among community leaders had stalled the payment of compensation for some acquired lands and called for greater understanding and unity in Delta communities for development to thrive.
Mrs Onianwa expressed concern at the rate of encroachment into state lands, just as she condemned the harassment and extortion of developers by some community youths, which according to her was inimical to peace and progress.
She commended the Umuodafe community, Ibusa, for ceding part of their land to governnent, assuring that the partnership would attract more development to the comnunity, even as she urged them to relate well with the Federal agencies and other corporate bodies in Core Area 2, Ibusa.
In their separate remarks, the Uwolo of Ibusa, Chief Amechi Nwaennie, Chief Obaseki Uchunor and Onowu Chiedu Monye, congratulated Mrs Onianwa on her appointment as Lands Commissioner and informed her that all land related disagreements in the community had been resolved in the interest of peace.