Community Accuses Michael Okpara University Of Land-Grabbing

The indigenous people of Okwu Olokoro autonomous community in Umuahia South LGA of Abia State have accused the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, MOUAU of allegedly planning to take over their farmlands without due process.

They have also maintained that the community has no agreement with the management of the University on the acquisition of their lands for whatever purpose or usage.

In a statement signed by the President General of the Okwu Olokoro autonomous community, Chief Uzodinma Egere, the people of Okwu Olokoro warned that they would not fold their arms and watch the institution take over their only source of livelihood.

They appealed to the Abia State government to immediately call the University to order, as according to the statement, the survival and well-being of the indigenes of the Okwu people are dependent on the lands in question.

“We are aware that the University is making clandestine and frantic efforts to forcefully take our lands without due process and this portends danger and a deliberate act to destabilize the state of peace in our land.”

The community noted that they held a number of inconclusive discussions with Michael Okpara University and were patiently waiting for further actions in the negotiation which never happened.

“But surprisingly, we have discovered that the University is making desperate efforts to wantonly and unilaterally finalize the acquisition of both our habitat and farmlands forcefully”, Uzodinma Egere further said.

The Okwu Olokoro people said the intervention of the Abia State government and a halt in action by the University of Agriculture would “nip the looming danger in the bud”

The allegations from Okwu Olokoro are coming two months after some women from another Olokoro autonomous community, Uzi-Amizi staged a protest claiming that MOUAU was encroaching on their lands.

The traditional ruler of Uzi-Amizi, HRH Eze Cyril Ogbenna who spoke to the press on the land issue, said he was aware of the protest by women of his community.

Efforts to hear from the management of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike were not successful, as the Public Relations Officer of the University, Adanma Odefa said she was not in the right position to speak about the matter but promised to get back to the reporter.

Several efforts made to hear from her were not productive as she did not reply to three messages sent to her Whatsapp line.

Further phone calls put across to her were not responded to.

Daily Post

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