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Anambra communities reconcile after 100 years of land dispute

By Pamela Eboh, Awka on 08/05/2018

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•Anambra Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke
•Anambra Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke

 

An age long land dispute between Umunnachi community in Dunukofia local government area and Ogidi, Idemili North local government area, both in Anambra State has finally been resolved.

The dispute which has spanned 100 years was resolved on Saturday when a peace accord was signed between the two communities.

Speaking at the event, the state Governor, Willie Obiano, hailed Chief Sam Anyanwutaku, a businessman for brokering the peace deal.

The Governor who was represented by his deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke, Obiano warned that communities engaging in any feud over land risked losing such land to the government by acquisition.

Okeke observed that as the chairman of the state's boundary commission, his biggest challenge had been how to tackle issues arising from land tussles adding that such matters were always intriguing, treacherous and diabolical.

He, however, commended the two communities for voluntarily accepting peace.

He said: “This would serve as the first time I got an invitation as a deputy governor to witness an amicable settlement of a land dispute in the state.

“Each time I am to preside over a land issue, I develop headache. The most difficult job I have to deal with as a deputy governor is land dispute.

“I just came back from Abuja yesterday (Friday) where we went to visit the National boundary commission over our land dispute with Enugu and Kogi.

“What I do not understand is why every community has a land dispute in Anambra. I am happy with Ogidi and Umunnachi because this is the first time I am being called that two communities accepted on their own to make peace and shun killings. I am very happy.”

He called on other communities in the state to emulate the two communities noting that government has the right to acquire any landed property that remains in dispute, for the overriding public interest and peace.

“When we do so, the feuding communities will lose,” he added.

News Express learnt that the land dispute had elicited court actions up to the Supreme Court as well wars, that has led to the loss of lives and property.

Earlier in his speech, Chief Sam Anyanwutaku, the architect of the peace deal and indigene of Ogidi community said he was moved to push for peace, following the strained relationship between his community Ogidi and their neighbour, Umunachi.

While regretting that the two communities which used to intermarry stopped doing so because of the land dispute, Anyanwutaku expressed happiness that they have come together and accepted to resolve their differences.

The reconciliation meeting was attended by the traditional rulers of both communities, their presidents general and the Anglican and Catholic Bishops, Owen Nwokolo and Velarian Okeke.

 

 

Source News Express

Posted 08/05/2018 03:53:42 AM

 

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