Indigenes of host communities of Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) have demanded the release of their ancestral lands by the institution.
During a protest rally at the weekend, indigenes of host communities of FUTO expressed their displeasure with the institution and demanded for better treatment. Their spokesman, Clarkson Ekeopara accused the university of greatly marginalizing and neglecting the host communities.
Ekeopara blamed the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Francis Eze for taking their land which was their only inheritance from their forefathers.
Ekeopara who is from Ocheara in Ihiagwa autonomous community, regrettably stated the negligence, perpetrated by FUTO and the total failure in upholding the agreement in the Memorandum of Understanding.
According to him, as FUTO host communities, they are entitled to employment, electricity, and construction of rural roads, which the university has failed to grant them.
He claimed that there is no lecturer in FUTO who is from the host communities, saying that the only thing FUTO has done for them is to employ some indigenes in the security department.
Ekeopara maintained that what they want is for FUTO to release their land especially the one the Federal Government has directed FUTO to release – the Araoche land.
He stated that they were grateful to their attorney, Chief Sam Anokam, who has been helping them to rightfully get what is due them. He added that, his nobility will be further demonstrated by ensuring that he works hard to get back the lands that belong to them.
He urged Chief Anokam to continue helping them to achieve their purpose, noting that he is the only attorney known to them and the best so far.
Ekeopara urged both the state and federal governments to intervene so that the host communities will peacefully get what belongs to them.
Our correspondent gathered that there is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which FUTO has refused to sign.