PIFA ESTABLISHMENT: UMUERI COMMUNITY PROTEST MOVES TO DEMOLISH OVER 500 HOUSES
Some residents of Umueri Community in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State have staged a peaceful protest against an alleged threat to demolish over five hundred houses built around the proposed site for the establishment of Police Institute of Finance and Administration (PIFA). The people have also called on the Inspector General Of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu to wade into the matter by having direct arrangement with them to ensure smooth take-off and completion of the Federal Government project.
Radio Nigeria gathered that the protesters comprising youths, aged men and women carried placards with various inscriptions as they chanted solidarity songs to register their stand as they matched through the streets of Umueri down to the proposed site.
The placards with inscriptions included “President Muhamadu Buhari Save us;” “Umueri is Umueri, Otuocha is Otuocha,” “IGP Come to our Rescue,” “Police don’t Cause Communal Crises between Umueri and Aguleri;” “We want Peace.”
The people said though they were in full support of the establishment of the project by the Nigeria Police, the attempt to demolish buildings erected by their children will be counter-productive.
Their spokesperson, Chief Mike Aniegboka, explained that the Anambra State Government gave out seventeen hectares of land belonging to Umueri for the construction of the Police Institute of Finance and Appropriation without proper consultations with the owners of the land.
Chief Aniegboka noted that the community was still willing to provide more lands to the Federal Government in other areas but is not in support of the proposed demolition of structures already built before the land was donated to the police.
A Legal Practitioner and indigene of Umueri, Mr. Jude Ekwenze, noted that the community had written several protest letters aimed at putting the record straight about the Aguakor Umueri land but expressed worry that some houses had already been allegedly demolished in a bid to acquire more.
In an interview, one of the women, Mrs. Philomena Obiekwe, said all they wanted was for peace to reign and the project completed without hurting the sensibility of residents, who gave out their valued portions of land.
The foundation laying ceremony for the construction of the Police Institute of Finance and Administration was performed by the Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Adamu alongside Governor Willie Obiano in October 2019.
It was aimed at ensuring effective and efficient management of police welfare and justice.