BY ANAYO OKOLI.
UMUAHIA-CRISIS is looming between the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture [MOAU], Umudike, Abia state and one of its host communities, Amaoba Ime Autonomous community in Ikwuano, over alleged confiscation of land by the university.
The community is claiming that the university authority illegally took extra 8 hectares of their land and alleged that the university was unlawfully using the military to confiscate the said land.
Already, the community has petitioned Abia House of Assembly urging it to intervene urgently “to avoid possible explosive situation” because the youths were said to be angry with the leaders of the community whom they accused of conniving with the university authority to over the land.
In a petition entitled “un lawful encroachment”, addressed to the Speaker of the House, the community said the petition was “to alert you on the clear and present danger existing in our community as a result of unlawful use of the Nigerian military to confiscate our land by the leadership of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike”
“Our community willingly donated to the university171.14 hectares of land not 179 hectares. However, the university’s Master Plan will require 179 hectares of contiguous real estate. The extra 8 hectares were not in the original agreement.
“We are surprised that the university is currently erecting some structures on our land without the consent of Amaoba Ime. To worsen the already flammable situation, the Vice Chancellor in his characteristic arrogance refused to dialogue with the Central Governing body of Amaoba Ime autonomous community over the illegal confiscation.
“His action is illegal and unethical and a shame to due process it is clear that the intrusion poses danger to lives and property of our farming community. We seek your urgent intervention to avoid possible explosive situation.
“As law-abiding citizens, we do not take laws into our hands. However, we do not have the luxury of time with youths who think we have sold out. We cannot and will not tolerate violation of our freedom and rights”, the petition signed by Chief Thompson Orji and O. Onuba.
Receiving the petition, the Speaker directed the committee on public petition headed Prince Ikedi Ezekwesiri to investigate the petition.
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