Residents of Obioma Obinagu Achalla village in Enugwu-Agidi, Anambra state, have called on Governor Willie Obiano to stop Awka people from encroaching into their land.
Speaking while leading a contingency of elders and stakeholders from the village alongside their lawyer to submit letters of formal complaint to the office of the commissioner for works, Ozo Anthony Okafor; the chairman of the village said that he had to stop the youths of the village from unleashing mayhem on the encroachers during the invasion.
“We woke up one day to find over 600 heavily armed men besiege some hectares of land belonging to our village, and with bull dozers, they destroyed all the farm lands and economic trees in the worth billions of naira.
“I had to stop our youths from fighting the invaders, and we later drafted a formal complaint letter to the police, the chief justice, the Permanent Secretary, our traditional ruler, the President General and other concerned bodies in the state.
“We have certified documents showing that we are the owners of the said land and we attach them to these letters. We do not have common boundary with Awka. The only people we share common boundary with in this part is Isu people.”
He, therefore, enjoined the Anambra state government to consider any agreement they might have had with Awka people over the land as invalid and stop being used by Awka people to encroach on their land.
Corroborating the claims of the village chairman, Chief Sir Chudi Okekenta, Ikenga Enugwu Agidi and a patron of the community, said that the land “had been in their possession from the beginning of time.”
“Enugwu-Agidi is one of the sons of Nri and we are, therefore, aborigines and we do not understand why Awka people are claiming our lands. We had to stop our boys from retaliating when they were destroying our farmlands and economic trees, because, we were told by our ancestors that it is an abomination to spill human blood; and we decided to tow the path of making formal complaint to constituted authority and that is why we are here calling out for the government to intervene before things get out of hand. Our governor is a man of peace and we are confident he would hearken to our call.”
The letter written to the Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Town Planning was titled ‘A plea for intervention,’ and signed by Bona Oraekwe and Co. Esq.
It reads thus: “It is our instruction to remind you of our clients’ earlier letters (herein attached) on the above subject matters dated 21st May, 2019, and 28th May, 2019, addressed to your office, wherein our clients notified your office of the High Court Judgment in their favour, and complained that the Anambra state housing corporation collaborated with some hoodlums from Awka town attacked our clients community at their farm land at Isi Nwochichi/Obibia farm land, Obunagu-Achalla village Enugwu-Agidi, and chased them away, moved in bulldozers and destroyed the cultivated farmland of our client and their economic trees.
“Our clients have waited for more than two months since then without hearing from your office, while the said Anambra state housing corporation has continued to destroy our clients’ farm land and economic trees with impunity.
“Our clients pray you to use your good office (as the new commissioner) to intervene in this matter with a view to calling the management of the Anambra state housing corporation to order and consoling our clients appropriately.”
Efforts to reach the commissioner for lands to comment on the issue proved abortive as at the time of filing this report.