Friday, 10 July 2015

War Imminent in Anambra Community as Igbariam Wrestles Nando Over Lands Dispute

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The lingering lands dispute between Igbariam and Nando communities in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State may soon degenerate to communal war if the government fails to intervene with a view to resolving it while is ankle deep. learnt that the two warring communities have been at dagger drawn over boundaries readjustment since 1911 which reportedly led the then Awka District Officer, Major Sproston to demarcate and fix the boundaries to the mutual satisfaction of Nando and Igbariam people.

However, not long after the demarcation, both communities made report to District Officer accusing each other of intrusion and trespass, accompanied by counter court cases not excluding the Supreme Court judgment presided over by one Justice George Graham Paul (in suit No. 14A of 1931) which upheld the boundaries as earlier demarcated by Major Sproston.

But has this solve the land dispute?

The war is far to be resolving all through the years as Nando and Igbariam communities continue with their scuffle over ownership of the said lands, latest been 21st June, 2015 where Nando people allegedly destroyed Igbariam Civic Center, farm lands, among other properties worth millions of naira.

As a result, over 200 indigenes of Igbariam community recently petitioned Governor Willie Obiano over the skirmish after a peaceful protest at the State Government House in Awka, the state capital.

In the 25 pages petition entitled “Incessant Acts of Provocation By Nando Community, Destruction of Property Belonging to Igbariam Community Worth Over N30,000,000.00 (thirty million naira); Acts likely to cause communal war between Nando and Igbariam Communities”, signed by the President-General and Secretary-General of Igbariam Progress Union (IPU), Chief Jude Ikechukwu Orizu and Barr Gidigidibueze Nwabanne respectively, the community called on the state government to intervene in the crises “to forestall the likely breakdown of law and order and consequent loss of life and property”.

The petition was copied to the Secretary to Anambra State Government, Prof. Solomon Chukwulobelu(received on 3rd July, 2015); the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Prof. Joseph Asike (3rd July, 2015); the Commissioner for Police, H.H Karma; and the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase.

But speaking in an interview, the President General of Nando Development Union (NDU), Mr. Sylvester Emeka Odife (Jnr.), insists that the controversial lands belonged to his people, even as he charged Igbariam people to present the survey plan conceding the lands to them through the purported Supreme Court judgment.

His words: “Igbariam people ought to be thanking us for accommodating them despite earlier warnings by their archrivals that they are warlike and ungrateful people. We took sympathy with them after looking at their sufferings and gave them the lands. Igbariam inhibits very tiny lands; one tenth of ours in land mass. They even took oath of allegiance to be paying tributes to us through economic trees and others, and never to fight or claim the lands.

“They are claiming that they won the case at high court or Supreme Court. We hereby challenge them to present us with the survey plan indicating the actual lands the Court conceded to them. Unfortunately, they are yet to present us with that till date. We don’t know whether they have burnt the so-called documents because the delegates we sent to Enugu to retrieve the survey plans from archive were not able to get them”.

On the alleged destruction of Igbariam Civic Centers, among other properties on 21st June, 2015, Mr. Odife described it as fallacy and mere rumour and directed this reporter to go and find out things himself, because according to him, Nando people are peace loving, and had never gone to war with Igbariam people though they often drove them to the wall.

 While enjoining his people to remain law abiding, the PG called on Igbariam people to come to round table with them as they are willing to resolve the issue amicably.



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