In the wee hours of May 15th, 2012, Umuguma youths hoisted their Banner indicating their claim to the ownership of the disputed World bank land known as Area K.
The youths led by one Mr. Blessing Oparaeke who identified himself as the President of Umuguma Youth had defiantly gone to the same Area K where violence swept through the scene in their bid to drive home their point as the real owners of the land by hosting a banner with inscription:
“Enough is Enough, Owerri Nchi Ise keep Away from our land; We need Government to Develop our place; Umuguma Supports Owelle Rochas Okorocha”.
Answering to questions posed to him our reporter; Mr. Blessing opined that they had been repaid for their magnanimity and peaceful tradition with injustice and wickedness. He narrated that their forefathers had allowed Owerri nchi ise people access to the land for farming purposes to enable them feed but in return, they decided to bite the finger that fed them. He decried the huge loss of revenue to Owerri municipal owing to the hawks amid them. He vowed that Umuguma people could no longer sit and watch people claim what rightly belonged to them.
Blessing further disclosed that people who claimed to have come from Amawom were mere puns in the hands of the politicians.
“For whatever political goal they want to score with our land. We are not interested. We want our place developed including area K, which is our ancestral home. We have only come here tell these impostors to vacate our land”.
Another placard read:
“We support Imo State’s Government’s Monumental projects on our ancestral area K land at Umuguma Autonomous community”.
Speaking to a woman who identified herself as Ndaa Christy who claims to come from Amawom on what she knew about Area K, which had become a Mecca of sort for them, she simply said it was their communal land and that they would fight to the last for Government not take over their land. Further question being posed to her fell on deaf ears.
Another twist on claim of ownership again coming from Umuororonjo calls for worry as the only certain thing over the disputed land is uncertainty. People in Area K neighbourhood are already jittery as no one is sure of what fate holds for them going by their traumatic experience last Saturday.