BY VINCENT UJUMADU, Awka
THE people of Amaikpa Umunze in Orumba South local government area of Anambra State and authorities of the Federal College of Education located in the area have been trading words over ownership of the 151 hectares of land of the permanent site.
It was gathered that the donation of the land to the Federal Government about 20 years ago was facilitated by the late traditional ruler of Umunze, Igwe Michael Ugochukwu of the famous Ugo Foam.
Hundreds of the villagers recently embarked on a demonstration that paralyzed activities at the College and disrupted movement in the town. Their grudge was alleged neglect of indigenes in employment and contract awards by authorities of the institution, as well as the refusal of the Federal Government to pay compensation for the large expanse of land. Women and youths displayed placards that read,
“The College has no regard for its landlord”, “FG give us our compensation”, “Our children are not employed in the College”, “You destroyed our crops without paying compensation”, “Your landlords are hungry, give them jobs” and “You sacked our people working in the college.”
They chanted war songs and dug trenches across all the major roads leading to the permanent site of the institution and blocked the inner roads with tree trunks which made it impossible for vehicles to go in and out of the college.
Spokesman of the community, Mr. Okey Nwadike said for the past 20 years, the community had been pleading with authorities of the college to see the need to carry them along by giving his people the opportunity to work in the college, regretting that all entreaties failed.