The site of Anambra State airport at Umueri, Anambra East Local Government Area, Anambra State, was besieged yesterday by a multitude of protesting Umueri women demanding a stop from the government’s alleged encroachment on their land.
Lamenting on the matter, Uchenna Ndumanya, the Chairman of the town noted:
“We are the people of Ifite Umueri. We are the people that donated the airport land to the Anambra State Government during Dr Chris Ngige’s administration about 14 years ago.
“When we donated the land, we gave them about 729.66 hectares, but now they have left that particular place we donated to them and just encroached on our individual land.
“They are now encroaching on about 1,901 hectares, about three times of what we gave them. We had our first protest on the matter in 2019. And since then, nothing has been done.
“We’ve petitioned the Commissioner of Police and the Department of State Services, but nothing has happened. We’ve gone to the governor’s office and the SSG’s office. Day-by-day, they are building on the land with impunity and sharing the land among themselves. And the particular place we gave them, they left it and nothing has been done there.
“We are here to let the world hear our cry, because all our efforts have been scuttled. The governor is from Aguleri; the Commissioner for Works is from Aguleri; the Chief of Staff is from Aguleri, virtually every top government official is from Aguleri.
“When you are explaining those things to them, it looks like speaking to deaf ears, because they’re our age long rivals.
“They want to turn us to refugees in our community; but we can’t be turn to Internally Displaced Persons on our own land because of an airport.”