…demand return of Otulu to Aniocha North
By Festus Ahon, ASABA
THE people of Issele-Azagba in Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State, have said Otulu community in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the State belongs to them and not the people of Ogwashi-Uku.
The Obi of Issele-Azagba, HRM Francis Jidouwa, Agbogidi I, who stated this while briefing newsmen, said Otulu used to be the farm settlement of Issele-Azagba people.
Arguing that they extended electricity to Otulu community, he said they also attracted the Schools and market to Otulu. He disclosed that the School there was named after one of their sons, Chief Gabriel Nwanne in Issele-Azagba.
He said: “when the Otulu market was to be commissioned in 1990, I was the person invited for the ceremony and I went with my subjects to welcome the Military Governor then; the Otulu market commissioned same day with the Issele-Azagba market.
“We are the people who extended electricity to Otulu because Otulu belongs to Issele-Azagba, which they are enjoying today. If Ogwashi-Uku people were the owner of Otulu, they would have challenged us, but they did not challenge us.
“The Secondary and Primary schools in Otulu were also influenced by us. In fact, the Primary School in Otulu is named after one of our sons, Chief Gabriel Nwanne. And when people were coming to cut timber in Otulu then, I was the one signing permit for them.
“We have boundary with Akwukwu after Anwai; we have a boundary with Atuma, we have boundary with Ubulu-uku, these are the people we have boundaries with. The movement of Otulu from Aniocha North to Aniocha South was political.
“Isaac Okonjo whose mother is from Issele-Azagba was given over 20 hectres of land. Isaac Okonjo was former Secretary to the defunct Midwest State Government. In order to protect the land given to him by his mother’s people, he moved Otulu from Aniocha North to Aniocha South and that was the beginning of the crisis.
“The ownership of Otulu is not in doubt. We are therefore calling on the government to return Otulu back to Aniocha North. Otulu remains our property, our land and we will not cede an inch of our land to anybody or community.
“What happened in Otulu last weekend could be better imagined. We the Issele-Azagba people are peace-loving and we do not want any bloodshed hence, we are calling on the government to call the people of Ogwashi-Uku to order. From 1963 till date, we have won a number of cases and there are two still pending in court.”
Recall that the people of Ogwashi-Uku and Otulu have been at war over the ownership of Otulu community. A youth from Otulu was killed last weekend by a stray bullet.