11 July 2018

Nigeria: 105-Year-Old Land Dispute Ends in Anambra Community

Awka — The battle for the massive 103.3 hectares of land at Anaku in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State, which had been on for the past 105 years, has finally come to an end, with a resolution that the land rightly belongs to Umuorienu Kindred in the area.

The land, known as Aboka and Iyiobu, was allegedly sold by Umuezechi and Opuatava kindred without the knowledge of Umuorienu to multinational companies involved in agriculture in Anambta State.

Following the tension generated by the sale, the traditional ruler of Anaku, Igwe Obalum Offokansi convened a meeting of the three kindred to resolve the dispute to avoid bloodshed in the area.

At the meeting, Igwe Offokansi went down memory lane on how the protracted land dispute had created disharmony in the area, arguing that time had come for the people to give peace a chance.

The meeting, which was also attended by elders and cabinet members in the area, resolved to set up land committee comprising nominees from the kindred laying claim to the land, as well as nominations by the Monarch, who recommended the way forward.

Addressing the people at the community square, Igwe Offokansi said: "Peace must reign in Anaku. It is obvious that if two people are involved in a dispute, one must be at fault and the important thing is that we must be bold enough to say the truth.

"In this matter, those who sold the land should provide the documents and those who bought should also show proof that they bought it. If the villages cannot provide the documents, we can get them from the companies that bought the land because an agreement was signed during the purchase. In this era when the state government is encouraging the need for communities to have properly demarcated boundaries, villages and kindreds should also have properly demarcated boundaries.

"In addition to the land committee which I set up, I will also personally investigate the matter to determine the status of the land in dispute and to find out who actually sold the land."

Chairman of Umuorienu Kindred, Hon Joseph Obidigwe, told South-East Voice that the committee set up by the traditional ruler had confirmed that the disputed land belongs to Umuorienu after investigations.

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