Tension in Nando/Igbariam as Communal War Brews Between Igbariam And Nando Communities

It took the intervention of armed security men stationed at the entrance gate of the Anambra State Government House Awka recently to prevent fierce-looking protesters from Igbariam community bearing placards ardoned with various inscriptions, from gaining access into the premises of the seat of power in their firm resolve to speak with the State Governor Chief Willie Obiano on the incessant enchroachment of Nando community on their land .

The angry-looking mob had insisted that they would see the governor and formally present their documented resolutions to him by hand even if it means losing their lives to hold on tenaciously to what they said rightfully belongs to them .

The situation therefore gave birth to a heavy traffic jam in front of the government house as the crowd of prosters maintained that no vehicle will go in or come out from the premises until they were allowed to see the State Governor on the grounds that they voted him into office and he is equally a native of Anambra-east Local Government Area where Igbariam and Nando communities also belong .The commotion therefore lingered for so long while the protesters chanted war songs saying that women and girls from Igbariam community have been raped , battered and beaten to stupor by Nando people ; a situation they lamented has resulted in the death of indigenes of Igbariam community .

Some of the protesters who narrated their ordeal to journalists recalled that the land currently in controversy between the two communities was originally handed over to Igbariam community in 1911 by the white missionaries who were there on evangelical mission . They also said that it was not the first time they embarked on peaceful demonstration over the terror unleashed on them by Nando community . They were of the opinion that indigenes of Nando had invaded and destroyed property estimated at over 30 million naira in their domain .

One of the protesters and leader of the protest match to the government house Barr.Gidigidibueze Nwabanne who is the secretary general of Igbariam community said that the confrontation as well as mindless invasion of their domain by Nando people were acts capable of causing communal war between both communities stressing that Igbariam people have been intimidated and trampled upon by Nando for too long . Barr. Nwabanne explained that his community believes in the doctrine of the rule of law and that the best way to approach the open confrontations coming from Nando was to go to equity now that their hands have not been soiled with blood which according to him was the chief reason why his community embarked on the protest match to the government house to tender their complaint to the authorities that be . Though he emphasized that they have on several occasions reported the mayhem unleashed on them by Nando to the Anambra State Government but government seemed to have treated such reports with levity and complacence .

To this end , Igbariam community woke up on the 21st day of June 2015 only to discover to their utter consternation that Igbarian Civic Centre currently under construction ; which Governor Willie Obiano gave the community 6 million naira to build has been demolished by Nando people together with 4 water tanks and blocks parked at the construction site were all damaged through and through . The secretary general stated that inspite of the demolition of the civic centre , the marauders also went into farmlands and destroyed everything there-in emphasizing that property worth over 30 million naira in Igbariam community have been condemned to nothingness  following incessant attacks by Nando people .

He said his community has made reports to the State Governor on the situation . They have also submitted petitions to the Secretary of the State Government including the Chief of Staff but it appears government paid little or no attention to the plight of the people saying that " do you people want Nando people to kill us or do you want us to engage in communal war before government will come to our resue " .

Furthermore Barr. Nwabanne explained that there are court judgements over the years to prove that the land in controversy legally belongs to Igbariam community adding that since 1911 , Igbariam has been in custody of the portion of land said to have claimed many lives due to claim of ownership as well as battle for supremacy by both communities .  According to him the very first judgment on the said land was delivered in 1931 and in 1933 , 27 Nando indigenes were imprisoned . Subsequently in 1998 another judgement was delivered in favour of Igbariam community . He however disclosed further that the decisions of the courts were all done with survey plans stressing that they have the documents where the court categorically stated that the land in  question belong to Igbariam community .

Having highlighted their position , Igbariam community however requested the Anambra State Government to expedite action to quell the storm in the area . The community amongst numerous other demands appealled to the government of Dr. Willie Obiano to effect necessary boundary adjustments between Igbariam and Nando in line with court judgments over the years . Barr.Nwabanne posited that " if nothing is done , we would think that the best thing to do is to take up arms to Nando people ; if that would solve our problem . If you people want us to engage in communal war with Nando community , because we have applied every other thing and it has not succeeded .

Two years ago Nando people came to Igbariam marking all the houses in Igbariam red with inscription that this land belongs to Nando community. How long do we live like that . This would be the last time . The next time this things would happen , we will take to war with Nando community , even if our  people are killed , even if i am killed , i don't mind ! "

Thereafter war songs rend the air as the President-General of Igbariam community Hon.Jude Ikechukwu Orizu narrated their ordeal to newsmen . Hon.Orizu stated that for so long a time Nando has continued to threaten Igbariam over land dispute and that since 1911 the land dispute began and that ever since there has been 5 court judgments in favour of Igbariam .

The PG therefore maintained that in spite of these court decisions , Nando people still unleashed terror and havoc on Igbariam demolishing property worth over 30 million naira in the area . He said that the protest match to the government house was to urge government to intervene in the situation to avoid further spill of blood between the two communities .

Photo www.odogwublog.com exclusive while story version by Raymond Ozoji

Tension in Nando/Igbariam as Communal War Brews Between Igbariam And Nando Communities Tension in Nando/Igbariam as Communal War Brews Between Igbariam And Nando Communities Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, July 10, 2015 Rating: 5

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