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Obiano imposes curfew as his community, Aguleri, two others fight over land

  • Army, Police deployed as one dead, many injured

The unending land disputes in parts of the South East reared its head as the timely intervention of Anambra State Police Command and troops of the Nigerian Army foiled another bloody clash between Aguleri and Umueri communities in Anambra East LGA of Anambra State.

Before the intervention, one person died while many escaped with various degrees of injuries while houses, vehicles and other valuable properties were destroyed in the early morning attack at Aguleri by suspected youths from Umueri community.

To stem the violence, the Anambra State government has imposed a three-day curfew on Aguleri, Umueri, and Umuoba Anam communities, all in Anambra East Local Government Area of the State.

Governor Willie Obiano, who is an indigene of Aguleri, according to a statement, said the curfew will last from 7pm to 7am daily, beginning on Saturday, 16th January, 2021.

The statement stated that “the curfew in the first instance will last for three days. Violators of the curfew would be prosecuted.”

Giving details of the violence, the State Police Command, through its Spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed, said that the situation was brought under control and investigation commenced to ascertain circumstances of the incident.

The statement read: “On January 16, 2021 at about 7:15am there was a report of crisis between Umueri and Aguleri Communities both in Anambra East LGA of Anambra State over a disputed area of land which both Communities were laying claim of ownership.

“Following the distress, the Command quickly dispatched joint Police teams comprising PMF/RRS and other Conventional Units in collaboration with other Security agencies led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations DCP Salman Dogo to the scene. Situation was brought under control, while joint patrol is still ongoing to restore normalcy in the affected areas”

Though the Police was silent on casualties, a video clip showed an unidentified man who allegedly died during the violence. And eyewitnesses said that some residents said at least half a dozen others escaped with injuries.

In addition, one building, four vehicles and two motorcycles were reportedly set ablaze in the crisis which has lasted for decades and keeps reoccurring.

The unending land disputes in parts of the South East reared its head as the timely intervention of Anambra State Police Command and troops of the Nigerian Army foiled another bloody clash between Aguleri and Umueri communities in Anambra East LGA of Anambra State.

Before the intervention, one person died while many escaped with various degrees of injuries while houses, vehicles and other valuable properties were destroyed in the early morning attack at Aguleri by suspected youths from Umueri community.

To stem the violence, the Anambra State government has imposed a three-day curfew on Aguleri, Umueri, and Umuoba Anam communities, all in Anambra East Local Government Area of the State.

Governor Willie Obiano, who is an indigene of Aguleri, according to a statement, said the curfew will last from 7pm to 7am daily, beginning on Saturday, 16th January, 2021.

The statement stated that “the curfew in the first instance will last for three days. Violators of the curfew would be prosecuted.”

The video clips also showed dramatic moments as youths from both communities hauled stones at each other amidst occasional gunfire. At a point, the situation reached a critical moment when security operatives were forced to reverse to avoid being caught in the cross fire.

Sources said that the violence was triggered by a protracted land dispute. Although it was earlier rumoured that the attackers had invaded the place to pull down a fence on a property allegedly owned by the member representing Anambra East and West Federal Constituency of the House of Representatives, Hon. Chinedu Benjamin Obidigwe, but the lawmaker has since denied owning a plot of land around the area.

“I do not have land near the land in dispute. I’m not carrying out any fencing project around or near the place in question. I am not part of the conflict and don’t pray to be. Peaceful coexistence between the youths of the two communities is my priority”, Obidigwe said in reaction to the reports linking him to the crisis.

Part first published by Orient Daily

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