By Chimaobi Nwaiwu – Nnewi
The Ezi-Nkwelle people of Nkwelle Ezunaka community in Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State, have appealed to the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano and the State Boundary Committee, headed by his Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke, to resolve the land dispute between them and the people of Osile Ogbunike, also in the same council area.
Addressing newsmen weekend, Chairman of Ezi-Nkwelle village, Chief Wilfred Okafor and the community lawyer, Mr Emeka Asiegbu, specifically told Governor Obiano, his deputy and Anambra State Boundary Committee that the resolution of the land dispute has become very imperative to avert bloody clash between the two villages.
The two Oyi Local Government villages, according to Chief Okafor, have been locked in boundary disputes that attracted the intervention of Anambra State Boundary Committee, which divided the disputed lands and promised to put demarcations and monuments, for peace to reign between the two villages.
Chief Okafor, said, “We have been waiting for the state government to fulfill their promise after we have made a payment of N1.885,000, as requested by the government to assist them in offsetting the cost of fixing the demarcations and monuments, but we do not know what is delaying the exercise.
“On Thursday, February 11, 2021, we got information that our portion of the land allocated to us by Anambra State Boundary Committee during sharing, has been sold and we decided to confirm the information only to be threatened with gunshot by the Police, allegedly working for occupants and the people who illegally sold the land to them.
“We have decided to obey the state government by doing all that is required to be done for peace to reign between us and Osile Ogbunike, including subjecting ourselves to the decisions of Anambra State Government Boundary Committee, we are therefore urging the state government to do their own part for peace to reign.
“We did not permit the butchers/traders currently occupying the land, they have been coming to us, but we told them to wait for us to take a full position of the land, since the Anambra State Boundary Committee that shared the land between us, Ezi-Umunya and Osile Ognukike, has not done the boundary demarcation and monument exercise which they promised before we can move in.”
However, lawyer to the Ezi-Nkwelle community, Mr Asiegbu, said “From the trial High Court at Otuocha, Anambra East, to the Supreme Court judgment, Ezi-Nkwelle, has been victorious in the matter, but we decided to submit our self to Anambra State Government, through the State Boundary Committee, which intervened to ensure peace.
“We have all the judgment from High Court to Supreme Court and it is very easy to enforce the judgment, but since we have decided to respect the government of the state by agreeing to be bounded by the decisions of the State Boundary Committee, we are only imploring Governor Obiano led Anambra State Government, to prevail of the Anambra State Boundary Committee, to do the boundary dedication and monuments exercise without further delay to avoid breakdown of law and order.
However, If the government fails to do the needful, we will go back to the Court and enforce the Court Orders against Osile Ogbumike community because the boundary committee told us that they will complete the demarcation exercise in November. 2020.
“The idea of using the Police to prevent my client’s entry into their land will not work, more so when there is information that some people are trying or have even sold the land.
“We must however sound the warning that we will never allow anybody no matter high highly placed to dispossess us of the land under any guise”
However, the Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr Haruna Mohammed, said the Police did not stop anybody from executing court orders, rather they went to disperse the hoodlums that blocked the road and prevented innocent users passage.
“Police did not stop anybody from executing court order, instead Police responded to a distress call of imminent breakdown of law and order by hoodlums who blocked the highway and smashed windscreens of oblivious motorists in the area.
“The timely intervention of police calmed the situation leading to restoration of normalcy and free flow of traffic, they even damaged vehicle of innocent people.