A traditional ruler of Atani community in Ogbaru local government area of Anambra State, Igwe Augustine Azuka Ngodi, and chairman of the Local Government Transition Committee, Arinze Awogu, have denied ceding any land in the area to herdsmen or foreigners.
The duo also denied arrest and detention of youths of Umuidima village of Atani community by men of the Nigerian Navy for being members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The secretary of Atani Traditional Palace, Chief Augustine Ezeolisa, deputy president-general of Atani Town Union, and, another stakeholder in the community, Mr Afam Imegwu, told LEADERSHIP at the palace that what was tearing the community apart was squabble over the revenue being generated from sand mining at Umuidima village.
The trio accused some prominent persons in Umuidima village of instigating the people of the area, especially the youths, against Igwe Ngodi and the town union on the management of the revenue being generated from sand mining activities in the area, a development which they claimed prompted the youths to hijack the revenue collection and management, insisting that no part of the money should go to the traditional ruler and town union leadership.
When contacted, Awogu told LEADERSHIP that he had started mediating in the communal skirmishes, saying that he had not received any complaint from any community in the local government that their land was “ceded to a foreign people, including the Fulanis”.
He stated that there were people of diverse ethnic nationalities living in the local government, and noted “all of them have cohabited very peacefully, and, this is why Ogbaru local government area has been very peaceful, and, has never recorded any inter-ethnic clashes.”