Aguleri, Umuleri trade words over site of Police College

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Aguleri, Umuleri trade words over site of Police College

Aguleri, Umuleri trade words over site of Police College

Two neighbouring communities of Aguleri and Umuleri in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State have been trading words over the ownership of the large parcel of land acquired by Nigeria Police Force for the building of the newly approved Police School of Finance and Administration in the area. Following the approval of the institution, the Anambra State government donated a large expanse of land, which has already been fenced and a large gate mounted. But there is tension in the two communities with both sides holding meetings to strategise on ways to handle the delicate matter to avoid a repeat of the Aguleri-Umuleri war of 1998 -1999 in which hundreds of people were killed and property worth millions of naira destroyed over land matter. Last week, the people of Umuleri took to the major roads in the area with placards to protest the acquisition, alleging that they were sidelined in the processes that led to the state government’s donation of the land to the police. Their spokesman, Elder Mike Aniegboka, said although the people of Umuleri were not against the allocation of the land to the police, their demand was that due process must be followed. He said: “We welcome the Police and the establishment of the Police school, but there should be modalities for acquiring the land. When you acquire land, you discuss with the owners. They said they paid us compensation, but nobody paid us anything. “They have marked over hundred houses for demolition and they have already started demolishing some. We also demand that there should be documents to specify that we donated the land to the police for the project “What we are saying is that the police should establish whatever thing they want to establish in the 17 hectares of land which we gave to them and should not demolish houses built outside the 17 hectares. “The 17 hectares we gave them is enough to build whatever they want to build. If they say it is not enough, we have another place to give them. But the houses our children built and those we sold to strangers must not be demolished.”

Stop creating tension, Aguleri tells Umuleri But at a meeting, yesterday the people of Aguleri wondered why the people of Umuleri should be spoiling for war again, arguing that the ownership of the land in question had since been resolved. A statement by the President-General of Aguleri Community Assembly, Chief Hipo Onwuegbeke, and the chairman of Aguleri/Umuleri Peace Committee, Chief Ralph Igwah, accused Umuleri people of creating unnecessary tension in the area by embarrassing the state government and the Inspector General of Police through their actions. The statement read in part: “The tendency of Umuleri community to disregard peace agreements is one major cause of tension in our area. The status of the land in question had since been resolved. “The area from the Ministry of Agriculture outpost at Otuocha to the INEC office, which is where the land given to the police is situated, was resolved by the 2006 agreement. In that agreement, it was resolved that the land should belong to the government and that none of the two communities should claim exclusive ownership.” “It is surprising that the people of Umuleri should be protesting on the streets to claim that the land belongs to them. The two communities should abide by existing agreements and Umuleri should stop further provocation against Aguleri in the interest of peace and harmony.”

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