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Tension in Enugu community over destruction of palm plantation

By Lawrence Njoku, Enugu
16 August 2022   |   3:58 am
Tension is mounting in Isi-Uzo Local Council of Enugu State, following Sunday’s attack on Ikem Community allegedly by armed Neke Community youths, who destroyed hectares of palm trees belonging to Chief Paul Ugwuagbo of Umuaram-Ikem.

Tension is mounting in Isi-Uzo Local Council of Enugu State, following Sunday’s attack on Ikem Community allegedly by armed Neke Community youths, who destroyed hectares of palm trees belonging to Chief Paul Ugwuagbo of Umuaram-Ikem.

No fewer than 1000 palm trees were destroyed.

Ugwuagbo, who conducted newsmen round the farm, yesterday, narrated how his labourers were attacked and chased out from the farm claiming ownership of the land.

“This land that my father owns in Ikem Asokwa has been cultivated from time immemorial. I am now 70 years old and Enugu State Boundary Commission had resolved this land dispute. The two communities, the state and local council, the Catholic and Anglican Bishops from Isi-Uzo, including Bishop Olinya of Eha-Amufu, Bishop Agbo of Nsukka Diocese, who is from Neke, all signed the document, yet some people from Neke ignored that and went to court.

“We have been in court for almost 10 years and Neke could not exercise patience but rather resorted to attacks on Ikem community since 2012.

“We are, therefore, pleading with the state government, the commissioner of Police and other security agencies to wade into this matter, because Neke has over-stretched the patience of our youths. The community leaders in Neke should restrain their youths. The leader of these rampaging youths is a former councilor from Akpani Neke; we know these boys and I am pleading for intervention of all and sundry to avoid breakdown of Law and order,” Ugwuagbo pleaded.

In previous petition written to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the Commissioner of Police in 2019, the Ikem community said it was constrained to draw attention of the governor that his efforts on security matters are being undermined by activities of Neke community, which insisted on breaching security in the local council through persistent invasion, abduction and forceful encroachment into Ikem community in a land dispute already settled by Enugu boundary committee in 2012.

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