Human Interest

Anambra border communities lament invasion by Kogi, Enugu neighbours


Some communities, including Eziagulu Otu community in Anambra State have decried continued invasion of their land by neighbouring communities in Kogi and Enugu States.

The communities, who appeared at the continued public hearing of the Anambra Truth, Justice and Peace Commission (ATJPC) on Saturday, blamed the interstate crisis on the scramble for land and natural resources.

Chief Alex Onukwue, former President General of Eziagulu-Otu Aguleri union in Anambra East Local Government Area, said the community had been in an age-long face-off with Gbagyi people of Kogi State over farmland.

Onukwue said the planned commencement of petroleum production by the Anambra-owned Orient Petroleum Company, took the crisis to a higher level as Kogi people intensified their onslaught on them.

He said the communal war had resulted in the death of no fewer than six Eziagulu-Otu Aguleri people with two others missing between 2014 and till date.

Onukwue, who told the Commission that the Kogi people had frustrated every effort at an amicable solution to the crisis, called on Anambra and Federal Governments to give adequate attention to the situation and work out a lasting solution in the interest of the people of the area.

Also testifying, Alfred Chukwu-Okafor, the President General of Omasi community in Ayamelum Local Government Area, said they were under serious threat of losing their farmland to their Enugu State neighbours.

Chukwu-Okafor said they could not go to their farm settlement directly because of a lack of access road but had to go through Enugu State to reach there.

He said the problem became full-blown after the creation of the current Anambra State from the old one as well as the discovery of natural resources.

According to him, “We need the support and protection of the Anambra government to secure our space. We are having serious boundary issues with our neighbours in Enugu.

“There was an attempt to sell our farm settlement but we, the Omasi community people, resisted it. We need an access road so that we can stop going through Enugu State before reaching our farm,” he said.

Prof. Sylvia Ifemeje, the Attorney General of Anambra who is also a member of the Commission, said it was not correct to say the state government abandoned them.

Ifemeje said her office had had to write to the Enugu State government when the attention of the Anambra government was drawn to a case of trespass by the neighbours.

She urged the people in the border communities to always inform the government of such developments for appropriate action.

Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman of the Commission, noted that Anambra was the state with the second least landmass and was losing part of it to ecological challenges.

Odinkalu charged the border towns to also inform the government of their situation as Anambra could not afford to cede any part of its limited land to other states.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: