Anambra community protests ceding of land, seeks Soludo’s intervention
Thousands of indigenes of the Achalla Community in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State marched on Thursday to the Government House in Awka while protesting the unilateral ceding of a parcel of disputed land to their neighbouring community.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions, the protesters, comprising old and young, accused the LG of taking the decision to cede their land to the Urum community, a neighbouring town, without following due process.
The leader of the protesters and the Secretary-General of Achalla Improvement Union, Mr Calistus Nnakwue, who addressed journalists at the gate of the Government House, said a peace committee set up by the chairman of Awka North Local Government Area, sat several times over the disputed land but never invited any member of the Achalla Community before ceding the land to Urum community.
Nnakwue said the land has been in dispute between Achalla and Urum communities for over 20 years, describing the action of the LGA as unfair.
He said Achalla community members resorted to the peaceful protest to draw the attention of the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to the development and avert any unforeseen circumstances between the affected communities.
After registering their petition at the Governor’s Office, Nnakwue called for calm in the Achalla community, saying that he was satisfied with the assurances given to the delegation by government officials.
He said, “We are here to call the attention of the governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to the awarding of the land to the Urum community, even without hearing from our representatives.
“The land in question belongs to us, and we are calling on Soludo to set up a new committee to preside over the matter and give an unbiased verdict.
“We are satisfied with the responses of government officials. We ask for calm in Achalla because we know that our governor will handle this matter satisfactorily. We were told that after two weeks, if nothing is done about it, we should return here (to Government House) to continue from where we stopped.”
Some of their placards, however, read, ‘We need a new and impartial and unbiased panel’, “We were not taken into consideration by the panel, and our report was not taken”, “A responsible panel cannot do land border demarcation without the consent of the affected communities”, among others.
But in his reaction to the development, the Commissioner for Lands, Prof. Ofornze Amaucheazi (SAN), said the records showed that all the affected parties were summoned to the meetings, but the Achalla people did not show up.
Amaucheazi, therefore, urged all the parties involved in the matter to furnish them with all the necessary documents that will enable the authorities to do justice to the case while calling for peace between the parties.