10 FUTO host communities protest incursion on land
Aggrieved youths and elders of the 10 communities hosting the permanent site of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), on Wednesday, protested what they described as incursion into the over 3,000 hectares of lands in their communities.
Two prominent leaders in the communities, Maj-Gen. Roland Ogbonna (rtd) and Chief Sam Anokam, an Estate Surveyor and Valuers expert, had a herculean task to stop them from turning violent.
The communities under the aegis, FUTO host communities, are Ihiagwa, Dindi Ihiagwa, Eziobodo, Eziokele, Okolochi, Emeabiam, Obinze, Umuanunu Avu, Umuoma Nekede (all in Owerri West), and Amaezi Obibiezena, in Owerri North), Local Councils).
Operators of the bulldozers and Caterpillars, clearing the lands on Wednesday, were chased away by the aggrieved persons, insisting that until the land matter, which is court is resolved, no one should be allowed into it for any purpose.
Briefing reporters, Anokam, said, “initially, there were 4,580 hectares of land in question, before 1,300 hectares were retrieved and returned to the communities, adding that over 3,000 were in dispute, waiting to be resolved.”
Anokam disclosed that a 10- man committee has been set up by the communities to ensure that there are no encumbrances to the process of acquisition.
He said the communities saw it as illegal for some persons to enter the land when it was under adjudication, adding that the communities would not be associated with any lawless acts.
FUTO management, said they were not ready to enter into any crisis with the communities, adding that the institution had extended hand of fellowship to the communities by offering jobs and other social amenities.