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Storm gathers in Anambra: Aguleri, Umuleri flex muscles again over land

By Pamela Eboh, Awka on 05/04/2018

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•Governor Obiano
•Governor Obiano

 Another storm appears to be gathering in Aguleri and the neighbouring community, Umueri, both in Anambra East Local Government Area of the state, as land dispute issues resonate in the area.

News Express recalls that the two communities were in 1999 involved in a communal clash that claimed many lives and also led to the destruction of property worth millions of naira.

At the moment, the people of Umueri are claiming that some people from Aguleri were trespassing on their land with impunity and removing sign posts placed on the land. Aguleri is the home community of Governor Willie Obiano.

As a result of the rising tension, the President General of Umueri General Assembly, Chief Pius Okonkwo, and Secretary General, Mr. Samuel Mbukwesili, had petitioned the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, lamenting the breach of instructions earlier handed down by police directing the two communities to embrace peace.

The petition reads: “May it be recalled that we were invited to your office on the 23rd day of March, 2018 over the trespass on Aguakor Umueri land by Aguleri people. And in submission and respect to your office, we honoured the invitation.

“At the meeting, which was attended by representatives of both communities, you directed that all the newly erected sign posts on the said land be removed. Contrary to your directives, the Aguleri people reluctantly removed the sign posts on the 25th day of March, 2018.

“In defiance to your directives and prior to their removal of the sign posts, the Aguleri people with their armed thugs commenced the erection of two permanent structures on the land and the structures are being erected in the night and they are heavily armed in other to instigate and provoke inter-communal crises between the two communities.

“Suffice it to bring to your notice that these illegal activities by the Aguleri people with their armed thugs, pose serious threat to the lives of Umueri indigenes and, if not stopped, may breach public peace and cause inter-communal crises between the two communities.

“We, therefore, implore you to use your good office to ensure that they remove the two structures erected by them in defiance to your instructions; desist from embarking on further activities on the said land; checkmate their armed thugs and bring them to book; as well as ensure that Umueri sign posts removed and seized by the people armed thugs be returned to us

“We also implore the CP to assign a police patrol team to the area for maintenance of law and order.”

However, the President General of Aguleri Town Union, Mr. Mike Ejoor, insisted that his community has no issue with Umueri, saying that what might be happening in the area “could be land dispute between families.”

While noting that it is not unusual for families that have common boundary to disagree over land, the PG observed that since the end of the 1999 communal crisis, there had not been any crisis in the area.

He said: “Aguleri as a community, has no common land. It is not unusual for families that have common boundary to disagree over land. For instance, my family has a boundary with Umueri and if there is any land dispute in the area, it is between the two families.”


Source News Express

Posted 05/04/2018 12:03:14 PM


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