Two communities clash in Anambra over land dispute

Two communities in Anambra West local government council of Anambra State, Odekpe and Allah/Onugwa communities have clashed over a land dispute, leading to missing of three persons from Odekpe community.

The spokesperson of Odekpe Development Union, Lokoja Branch, Mr Thomas Okebu in a press statement issued on Sunday which copy was made available to Tribune Online in Lokoja, alleged that three of their persons have been kidnapped by the people of Allah/Onugwa communities some days back.

According to the statement, the disputed land originally belong to Odekpe, but that the people of Allah/Onugwa came to settled with Odekpe.

However, at a time when Allah/Onugwa expanded, they now claimed they owned some portion of the land, but Odekpe people disagreed with them but rather they should both share part of the land so that both communities can have their boundary since they have stayed together for long.

His words: “They refused and wanted to claim the entire land including where we are living. This time now because of the notable people they have in government including in the Police and Military they are now boasting that they have money and connection.

“The Igwe of our area, Igwe Pious Omachulu intervened in the matter through the office of the deputy governor. He is the Secretary of the Traditional Ruler Council in Anambra State. Because his own community is closer to our community they now said since he knows the place very well he should handle the matter and report back to the government.

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“He now urged everybody to stay calm that he will involve the two communities on how the matter can be settled amicably. He also warned that the two communities should stay from the disputed land until the matter is settled.

“Allah/Onugwa community started going there for farming they started to plant crops in the land and our community confronted them for going to the land. We reported to Igwe but he did not react on time and anytime they are coming to the land they will be well-armed and then lay siege for our people.

“This time when our people confronted them crisis now started three-person from our community were kidnapped by them about a week ago. When people went there to look for our people they kidnapped we couldn’t find them but information reaching us said they have killed our people,” the statement added.

According to him, a sequel to the visit of the governor’s delegates to Odekpe community and Allah/Onugwa community to initiate peace as a result of the lingering communal clash/war between the two communities, the team of the delegates were led by Hon. Bonaventure Enemali, the Commissioner for Lands and Hon Sylvester Orji, TC Chairman Anambra West LG.

“In their visit,  it was agreed that the two communities should appoint 10 persons each to come and see the Commissioner of Police in continuation of the peace talks at the Police headquarters Awka on Wednesday 11th of November, 2019.

“The invitation was honoured. In the meeting with Commissioner of Police, the two communities spoke on what transpired between them. Thereafter the CP asked the two parties to go to the State CIID to make a statement.

“Thereafter, the delegates from Odekpe was unjustly and unfairly detained at the instance of CP while Allah/Onugwa delegates were ceremoniously asked to go home but they were later released by the Police after several interventions.

He, therefore, called on the Anambra state government, the Commission for Police and other wishers in both communities to intervene on the land matter so that it does not consume both communities in the state,” he pleaded.

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