By Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
Most communities of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) have called on the management of the institution to obey the directive given to it by the Federal Government to excise part of the land donated to it back to the owners.
The host communities made up of the six constituent communities on the Port Harcourt Road axis of the land – Ihiagwa, Dindi Ihiagwa, Umuanunu, Umuoma Nekede, Obinze and Avu – through their attorney, Chief Sam Anokam, vowed that they were prepared to challenge FUTO’s stance on the return of the land to any level.
Reacting to the comments credited to the vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Francis Eze that the communities and their attorney were spreading falsehood among other accusations, Anokam said, the earlier FUTO acted as directed by the federal government, the better for the institution.
He said the university deviated from the clauses of the agreement in the memorandum of understanding engineered by the federal ministry of works and housing, thereby denying the chances of the host communities from getting what was approved by the Federal Government.
Anokam said: “I am a professional of great repute, a fellow of Nigerian Institute of Surveyors and Valuers and a Knight of St. Christopher in the Anglican Church, a grandfather and above all, a community leader. I cannot wake up one morning and begin to spread falsehood. Who will I be impressing by spreading falsehood?
“The Vice Chancellor is rather trying to suppress the fact that the federal government has considered a move to excise land out of the FUTO land for the host communities.
“The Federal Government set up a committee which FUTO and its host communities were represented and produced a memorandum of understanding for the parties to sign. But, FUTO refused to sign the MoU reached since 2019 as part of the effort by the Federal Government to resolve the perennial impasse that had brought acrimony over the years between the host communities and FUTO.”
Anokam said the issue had been tabled before the National Assembly, lamenting that his people had no farm lands and places of abode.
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