The Achalla Community in Awka North Local Government Area, Anambra State, last Wednesday, stormed the Government House, Awka, to protest against what they called a biased report by the Awka North Local Government officials on a land dispute between them and their neighboring community, Urum of same LGA, report Jude Atupulazi and Mike Nnebife.
The protesters carried various placards with different inscriptions such as, ”Achalla Community is not a party to any demarcation on Ochokwa Achalla”; ”We reject any boundary adjustment/demarcation on Ochokwa Achalla Land”; ”Anambra State SSG Is Biased on Land Dispute B/W Achalla & Urum”, among others.
Briefing newsmen, the Secretary General of Achalla Improvement Union, Mr Calistus Nnakwe, said, ‘We came to register our protest and grievance over the biased report made against our town, Achalla, in a land dispute between them and the neighouring community, Urum, by a so-called a peace committee set up by Awka North Local Government Area.
‘The committee was set up two years ego, but they came up with a very funny report last year which Achalla Community wasn’t even aware of, until recently, when some government agents started making some moves to effect readjustment or demarcation between Achalla and Urum communities, when, in the first place, from records, Achalla never even shares any boundary with Urum Community.
‘The so-called peace committee, from their record, said they sat 36 times, and at none of those sittings was any Achalla member or any representative from Achalla present.
‘And the committee never deemed it necessary to write the Achalla Community to tell us that we didn’t have our representatives in those meetings, only for them to come up with the report.
‘Again, the committee was called a peace committee. I don’t think that part of their initial brief was making a boundary adjustment.
‘However, we are saying that if the purpose of setting up the committee was a kind of bringing peace between Achalla and Urum communities, they would not dive into boundary adjustment or demarcation.
‘Secondly, the land dispute in question is even in court; so it is kind of prejudice.
‘So, we are very surprised that the parcel of the land in contention has been given to Urum Community.
‘This is why we are here to register our protest and bring it to the notice of the executive governor of the state,’ Mr Nnaekwe noted.
The community leader further appealed to the governor of the state, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, to jettison the report and set up another committee that would make a holistic and unbiased assessment and investigation over the whole matter and come up with a report that would do justice to the land dispute.
The protesters were met at the gate by the Government House Chief Security Officer who directed them to drop their placards and submit other necessary documents they came with for submission to the governor through the office of the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, as the governor was not on seat at the time of the demonstration.
Later, after they had submitted their petition in the office of the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Nnaekwe said they were told to wait for government’s response within two weeks after which they should come again if there was no response.
He however expressed satisfaction with the protest and the response from government and assured the people of Achalla Community that the protest would not be in vain.
Earlier, efforts by newsmen to accompany the representatives of the protesters to the office of the SSG in order to hear from the SSG were rebuffed by the CSO who said there was no need for such as the matter in hand would be attended to by the government.