TENSION IN DELTA COMMUNITIES OVER LAND GRABBING

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By Nneka Glory Nwachukwu

Atuma-Iga and Akwukwu-Igbo are two communities sharing the same political Ward in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State that have not known peace for some time now following alleged land grabbing and disagreements.

The obnoxious chapter in the homeland of one time Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Late Chief Michael Agbamuche, SAN), was sacrilegious and like the height of infamy.

The people of Akwukwu-Igbo, which is the headquarters of Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria, also known as the “Land of Desert Warriors”, have accused the Obi of Atuma-Iga of sponsoring some of his subjects of grabbing their lands.

They made the allegation in a protest today at the site of the lands where crops were destroyed.

Akwukwu-Igbo people, led by Chief Chibuzor Mokeme, Community head of Akwukwu Igbo,  alleged that His Royal Majesty, Obi Daniel Chukwuma Ogbudo, the Obi of Atuma-Iga, was behind the land grabbing and farm destruction in Akwukwu-Igbo.

They alleged that Obi Ogbudo and his people used the police and military personnel from the Brigade Command to intimidate them.

According to the protesting Akwu-kwu-Igbo people, “Atuma-Iga people wrote to deceive the police into giving them back up and coverage until the police discovered the truth and withdrew their men from the disputed lands.

“With the influence of Chief Fred Ajudua, some military personnel  came into Akwukwu-Igbo land yesterday Thursday, 23 February, 2023, and they are still there to destroy economic trees and crops of inhabitants and farmers in Akwukwu-Igbo.

“The main occupation of our locals are mainly farming and fishing so how do we survive when our produce are being destroyed”.

Our reporter gathered that the disputed land in question is in Ogbe-Iyase quarter of Akwukwu-Igbo.

Regardless the protesters appealed to governor Ifeanyi  Okowa of Delta state to call the Obi of Atuma-Iga and Chief Fred Ajudua to order. Claiming that the Obi and his people are calling for communal crisis in the peaceful local government area.

In a telephone call to DSP Bright Edafe, Police Public Ralation Officer of the State Police Command, to ascertain the knowledge of the police on the allegations against the Obi of Atuma-Iga, his subjects and Chief Fred Ajudua, he said he was not aware of any land grabbing crisis there but I should do him an sms to reach out to the Divisional Police Officer at Akwukwu-Igbo.

According to Edafe “Police gives protection and coverage to all persons so they cannot protect Atuma-Iga people against Akwukwu-Igbo. The Divisional Police Headquarters at Akwukwu-Igbo serves the whole Oshimili North. Besides, we do not really have the manpower for that now as our focus is mainly on the Saturday elections. That allegation seems baseless but do me an sms to me for me to forward to the DPO for confirmation.

All efforts to reach HRM Obi Daniel Chukwuma Ogbudo, the Obi of Atuma-Iga through a visit to his Palace and his phone number 08X3 677 XXXX for his side of the story yielded no results as calls and sms were not responded to.