By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
A land tussle ibetween the people of Umisome comminity and that of late Prof Chinua Achebe’s country home, Ikenga Ogidi both in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State has left one person dead as three others escaped death with varying degrees of injuries.
It was learnt that the dead was one 70-year-old man, Elder Anthony Okongwu.
The land tussle which has lasted for years has defied both a Supreme Court judgement and efforts by the state government to resolve it.
Speaking to journalists, the President General of Ikenga Ogidi, Hon Amaechi Ekume said, “I and some elders of the community had gone to the disputed land to inspect it, since Umusiome Nkpor people had defied a Supreme Court Judgment handed in 1997 to continue to develop the land.
“We went there without anything in mind, but we were surprised when suddenly Umusiome people attacked us, and started shooting. In the process, we lost one of our elders, and three other people sustained injuries.
“It was not a fight between our community and theirs, because we did not go there with any intention. At least, the age of the people we went with and that of the man who was killed will tell you that we were not there for trouble but to inspect the land,” he said.
He insisted that Umusiome people were trespassing on the land, without recourse to a Supreme Court judgment and the effort of the state government to resolve the dispute a
While regretting that the Police could not save the situation, he called on the state government to quickly wade into the matter to forestall further incidences of breakdown of law and order, as Ikenga Ogidi community would not tolerate further attack on her indigenes.
In his reaction, the Chairman Umusiome Village Nkpor, Mr. Pius Obiogbolu acknowledged that the two communities have been in land dispute for many years but did not did not say anything regarding allegations that members of his community attacked their Ikenga Ogidi neighbours first.
We are not challenging the Supreme Court judgment, what we are challenging is the Anambra state government gazette which was wrongly made. We want it repealed. We also want the state government to implement the recommendations made by those they invited to look into the land dispute”, he added.
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Haruna Mohammed said the command has launched investigation into the matter, and was also keeping vigilance on the area to ensure there is no further breakdown of law and order.