By G9ija

Host communities of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) have begun a move to end encroachment on lands within the area known as Aroche New Town.

To this effect, youths from the six constituent communities (Ihiagwa, Dindi Umuanunu, Umuoma Nekede, Obinze and Avu ) were recently inaugurated as ambassadors of the new town in order to protect their people’s interest.

Speaking while inaugurating the youth ambassadors in the Owerri West Council Area of the state, the lawyer of FUTO’s host communities, Chief Sam Anokam, disclosed that the essence of the meeting was to constitute a body of youths to fight encroachment and illegal development on their land.

The land, he said, was acquired by the Federal Government and given to FUTO which the host communities were seeking excision back to them.

Anokam said: “We haven’t quite concluded the process (of excision), but we are in the process. We’re sure the excision will be concluded.

“However, we are not happy with the way our people and others are encroaching on the land. This runs contrary to our objective.

“If they give us back the land, we expect that that area should be properly planned and the customary land owners will be properly compensated in relation to their land areas in the place.

“So, a situation where individuals, families and speculators are forcing the people to buy will be counterproductive. That’s what we want to stop with our youths. We will conclude the process and plan the place properly with the approval of government.

“We should not do it as if it’s a native layout where we do anything we like. Government must be involved. It will be a recognized layout. We call it Aroche New Town. It must be integrated into the capital territory and well planned according to government standards.”