By Vincent Ujumadu
Elders of Umuike, Umuayom village in Awka Kingdom, Anambra State, have threatened to place a curse on the youths, who have allegedly turned themselves into land-grabbing agents, thereby undermining the efforts of the state government to make Awka a modern city.
There had been tension in the town since the youths, said to be led by a titled person from the village, started selling plots of land at the popular Aguaba Layout mapped out by Anambra State government in conjunction with Umuike family for the building of a modern city layout, as the youths threatened to deal with anyone who stood on their way.
Worried by the development, the elders met at the village square and warned the youths to retrace their steps or be prepared to incur the wrath of their ancestors.
Chief Christian Ndife, Secretary of the Elders Council said that by inheritance, the Aguaba layout belongs to them and not to any individual.
He said in spite of the state government gazette of 1990, some people from the community entered the layout and removed all the beacons put in place by the state government-appointed surveyor.
He said: “They allocated the plots to themselves and others without recourse to the properly constituted board of trustees. Their intention was to cause confusion in the management of the layout. They also engaged another surveyor to disorganize the properly surveyed plots approved by the government.
“Our concern is that these youths, who are led by one of our sons, who had become a torn in our flesh, have illegally been selling the plots in Aguaba layout, thereby distorting the original plan of the state government.
“We, the villagers and elders chose to toe the line of peace because their provocative action is capable of leading to mayhem in Awka.
“They are lucky that Awka is not known for spilling blood and we thank God that peace has reigned so far. But there is a limit to every human action.
“Although we have been following the matter legally, we are not happy with what is happening. We are however happy that we are in possession of records of government gazette concerning Aguaba land.
“There is a board of trustees supported by the land management committee approved by the Umuike family, yet these youths chose to ignore the elders to embark on a venture that is capable of ruining them forever.”
Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Aguaba layout, Chief Dilim Okafor said despite the provocation, the elders had, on several occasions, tried to call the youths to order, regretting that their leader, who, he alleged, goes about with well-armed security operatives, has been encouraging them by assuring them that nothing would happen.
According to him, the land-grabbing attitude of the youths was part of the reason Awka had remained an unplanned city.