FUTO host communities protest land invasion
It took the efforts of two prominent leaders in the communities, Maj-Gen. Roland Ogbonna (rtd), and Chief Sam Anokam, to stop the protest 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 bulldozers and caterpillars, clearing the land were chased away by the protesters, insisting that until the matter is resolved in the court, nobody has the right to invade the land.
Briefing journalists, 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 hectares is still in dispute, waiting to be resolved.
He said a 10-man committee was set up by the communities to ensure that there were no encumbrances to the process of acquisition.According to him, the communities see 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.
He added that the communities were ready to have cordial relationship with the parties, provided the right things were done.The management of FUTO, said they are not interested in any crisis with the communities, adding that the institution had extended hand of fellowship to the communities by offering jobs and social responsibility packages to them.