One feared dead, four houses burnt as Aguleri, Umuoba Anam fight over land

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 22 March 2015 | 8,438 times

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Aguleri and Umuleri, two Anambra State communities have clashed over land, resulting in the killing of one and destruction of property.

Between 1999 and 2002, the two neighbours engaged each other in a violent attacks that captured national attention.

The latest fight, which occurred on Friday, was triggered by a disagreement over the ownership of a stretch of land close to the Anambra River basin.

10 persons sustained various degrees of injuries with four houses, including the building housing the World Bank-assisted Anambra State FADAMA 111 Project, completely razed down. The bravura building housing Aguleri Micro Finance Bank was also torched.

Besides, dredging equipments estimated to be over N50 million belonging to JCECAN Global Link Nigeria Ltd, as well as welding machines, rubber floaters deep black hosts, batteries, 150 plastic chairs and 30 canopies for hiring were set ablaze.

One of the injured, Mr. Chibuko Ifediegwu, is still on admission at the Borommew Hospital, Onitsha.

A team of policemen has been deployed to the area while the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hosea Karma has met with the traditional rulers of the two communities, imploring them to call their youths to order.

Speaking to News Express, a youth leader in Umuoba Anam, Mr. Sam Ifeatu, who narrated the incident said that the trouble started when somebody from Aguleri called Obi, rechanneled filthy water from the town to the river spot where his people usually take their bath and also fetch water for their domestic use, instead of channeling it through the Aguleri end.

He said that when the people complained, the said Obi threatened them and this led to a confrontation between youths of the two communities during which guns were freely used.

On his part, a community leader in Aguleri and a member of the Igwe Aguleri cabinet, Chief Ralph Igwa said that Umuoba Anam has no claim to any parcel of land in the area as the place they are presently residing was given to them by Aguleri people.

In his words, “The place the people of Umuoba Anam are staying has never been in dispute and what led to the recent clash could be attributed to the failure of elders in both communities to tell their youths the true position of things in the area.”

He, however, regretted the clash, adding that Umuoba Anam had always lived in peace with Aguleri and recalled that Umuoba Anam was on the side of Aguleri during the Aguleri/Umuleri war.

He also suggested that the boundaries of the three communities of Aguleri, Umuleri and Umuoba Anam to be properly demarcated and documented.

•Photo by Pamela Eboh shows some of the property damaged during the Aguleri and Umuleri war.

Source: News Express

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