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Anambra women go naked over land for airport

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Angry women from Enuagu, Umuinu and Umuopu kindred of Ifite Umueri, Anambra East, yesterday, went naked to protest against alleged encroachment on their ancestral land mapped for a cargo and passenger airport by agents of the state government.

The protesters were in solidarity with 2000 other locals that blockaded entrance of the gateway, vowing to occupy the place for the next one month.

Addressing Governor Willie Obiano, an indigene of neighbouring Aguleri in unprintable names, they brandished placards reading: “We cannot be refugees in our own land”; “Willie Obiano, leave our land alone”; “No official Environmental Impact/Health and Social Assessment, no Airport”; “No MOU, no Airport”; “Land grabbers should leave Umueri out” and “No release of the corresponding size of encroached parcels B in parcel A, no Airport.”

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Chairman of the joint meeting, Chief Innocent Ndumanya, told reporters that the agitators kicked because the state government had allegedly abandoned the “original 729.606 hectares of land originally donated to it and grabbed extra 1901 hectares of land for not just the airport project, but also for sharing as party’s patronage and goodwill to well-wishers without the knowledge and consent of the owners.”

He observed that it was “729.606 hectares of land that were gazetted for the airport, only for government to name Parcel B for the airport project work in error. The process of acquiring Parcel B should be revisited as the owners of the land were not consulted in any way during the acquisition process. We are demanding that government should hand us back our land. However, since government had started development on the land in error, it should go to Parcel A and give back to the owners the equivalent of Parcel B in Parcel A.”

Ndumanya pleaded for a comprehensive memorandum of understanding and compensation, noting: “The purported parcels C and D were not part of the original plan, as it will displace the entire Ifite Umueri made-up of Mgbede, Ogbu and Umuatolu villages.”

Leader of the protesters, Mrs. Ugo Nwakonuche, appealed to the governor to “leave Agu n’ato land alone, as the ancestral land is reserved for Umueri as farmland and for the children to build their homesteads.”

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