Land Dispute: Monarch Wants White Paper Implementation


The traditional ruler of Umueri kingdom in Anambra State Igwe Ben Emeka, has urged the state government to implement a White Paper on a disputed land with Aguleri community.
Emeka made the call in an interview with newsmen at his palace in Umueri yesterday.
Speaking on the lingering land dispute between his community and its neighbours, he that said that the non-implementation of the White Paper report had resulted in the recurrence of the crisis.
According to him, the lingering land crisis over the years between Aguleri and Umuleri communities is the “handiwork of the devil”.
“There have been inter-communal marriages between these communities even before 1900; almost every individual has their mother from either side.
“In 1999, there was a devastating communal clash among Umuleri, Aguleri and Umuoba-Anam.
“Since then, the once cordial inter-communal marriages among these communities have reduced, and this is not good for neighbours.”
He noted that the problem in Igbo land had always been land ownership.
He explained that a piece of land at Aguako had been in contention between Umuleri and Aguleri, but was resolved at the Supreme Court.
Although, the matter was ruled in favour of Umuleri, the monarch said the decision of court did not bring about the desired lasting peace.
“In spite of the judgment, Aguleri people are still laying claim to the land. Since then, it has been in contention.
“The state government had also set up a panel of inquiry which came up with a White Paper but had refused to implement the document since 2000.
“It is the refusal of the government to implement the White Paper that made the elite of the three communities of Umuleri, Aguleri and Umuoba-Anam to set up a peace committee to share the disputed land at Aguako.
“Peace returned there but there is a piece of land left which supposedly is Umueri land. However, some miscreants from Aguleri began to build on the land.
“They keep coming to build even at mid-night. It became so much that I had to alert the governor, who intervened with security.