About three persons have been reported to have lost their lives in a communal clash among two Anambra communities, Nkwelle Ezunaka and Osile Village in Ogbunike, Oyi local government area over disagreements resulting from a disputed piece of land.
The communities had engaged each other in fierce battle last week, leading to the death of the three men, who are said to be indigenes of Nkwelle Ezunaka community.
Several persons were also reportedly injured as a result of the clash, while security operatives are have been drafted to the communities, and calm returned.
Our correspondent gathered that last week’s clash was caused by the quest by one of the feuding communities, Osile to survey the disputed land, apparently to make it ready for use.
This it was gathered was opposed to by people of Amuche village in Nkwelle Ezunaka leading to a fracas that degenerated into shooting.
Immediate Past President of Nkwelle Ezunaka Community and the Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State chapter, Elder Chris Eluemuno who spoke to journalists during a visit to the area said the fracas between both communities has remained a recurring one.
He recalled that both communities have remained at loggerhead for a long time as a result of the dispute, and the refusal of the Osile people to abide by an old court judgment on the land.
The land dispute it was learnt dates as far back as 1906 when an Onitsha customary Court entered a judgment in favour of Nkwelle Ezunaka, that Nkisi River was the boundary between Ogbunike and Nkwelle Ezunaka, as communities.
When contacted the President Osile Welfare and Development Union, Donatus Mbanefo said there was no such judgment, and that the Umuonuora family of Amuche Nkwelle have never been in any land dispute in any court of law with their counterpart.
“Umuonuora family, led by Chris Eluemuno and lately Ambrose Odia had not only trespassed on these lands but have sold off all of the Osile Lands lying north of the Onitsha-Enugu Express way to non-indigenes of Nkwelle Ezunaka,” he said.
He appealed to Anambra State Government through the State Boundary Committee to urgently carry out comprehensive boundary demarcation between Osile Ogbunike and their neighbours from Nkwelle to avert further bloodletting.
THISDAY reports that calm has however returned to both communities following the drafting of security personnel to the disputed land.
Attempts to get reactions from the Anambra State police Command’s Spokesperson, DSP Ali Okechukwu on the matter was not successful as he was said to have been out of office on official duties when our reporter called.