A 70-year-old man, Anthony Okongwu, has reportedly lost his life to a land feud between the Ikenga Ogidi and Umusiome Nkpor communities in the Idemili Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Okongwu, who hailed from Ikenga Ogidi, was allegedly attacked by the people of Umusiome Nkpor, while he was inspecting his community’s land alongside some other people from his area.
Three others persons from Ikenga Ogidi sustained injuries in the fracas.
Ikenga Ogidi is the home town of late author of the book; ‘Things Fall Apart’, Prof. Chinua Achebe.
The National President of Ikenga Ogidi Family Union, Amechi Ekume, who confirmed the story to Southern City News, accused some people he described as land speculators and trespassers from Umusiome Nkpor of perpetrating the act.
Ekume said the protracted land dispute had since been resolved based on judgment of the Supreme Court delivered in favour of the Ikenga Ogidi community in suit No. SC/71/1996.
He stated, “The state government, which demarcated the boundary of the land through the boundary committee headed by the then deputy governor of the state, Chief Aboli Okerie-Agu, issued a gazette in that respect.
Ekume condemned the Nkpor community’s recourse to a lower court’s pronouncement to foment trouble, while the Supreme Court judgment was subsisting.
He called on the Anambra State Government and the police to intervene so that the Supreme Court verdict would prevail.
“To prevent youths of my community from taking the laws into their hands by embarking on reprisals, we call for the immediate stoppage of construction work on the disputed land,” he added.
When contacted, the Chairman of Umusiome Nkpor, Pius Obiogbolu, said the issue in contention was not the Supreme Court judgement.
He said, “We are not challenging the Supreme Court judgment, but the Anambra State Government gazette, which was wrongly done.
“We want it repealed. We want the state government to implement the recommendations made by those we invited to look into the land dispute.”
The Chairman of the Umusiome Landlords Association, Daniel Alaneme, said the landlords had no issue with the people of Ikenga Ogidi.
“Our concern is for the two communities to settle their differences; if at the end, the Ikenga Ogidi community emerges victorious, we will go for settlement. What is important is to let peace reign. We gain nothing by seeing the two communities go into unnecessary war,” he stated.