By Martin Nwoko 

The Director General of the Bureau for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Imo State, Engr. Peter Ohagwa (KSC, FACI) have assured the people of Ubachima, comprising Umuonwuna and Ejikoizu in Ofekata II autonomous community, Awo-Omamma, in Oru East LGA of Imo State that he will use his good office to proffer lasting solution to the lingering issue between Nigeria Breweries PLC and the above mentioned communities.

The DG disclosed this in his Owerri office yesterday while addressing the 29 indigenous families who are original owners of the land where Nigeria Breweries PLC operates in Awo-Omamna. He stated that he invited the leaders of the community including the leaders of Ubachima Land Owners by Inheritance Association, Elder Festus Ugonna Agbapuruonwu and Ichie Emmanuel Agadoyaobi (who know man) to resolve their differences and also ensure that Nigerian Breweries pays the compensation amount  agreed upon for the land known and addressed as “Ala Ukawshi Uzora/ Ala Ukwu Nwoyo” situated in Umuonwuna Amaji, Ubachima, Awo-Omamna, in Oru East LGA measuring about 24.302 hectares of land. 

Reading a letter written by the Nigerian Breweries PLC in response to his own efforts to resolve the lingering  issue of non payment of compensation to the original land owners by Nigerian Breweries, Engr. Ohagwa stated the stand of Nigeria Breweries stating that they will not pay any compensation now because they are having leadership crisis and that until they resolve their differences to enable them know the right group to pay compensation to in order to avoid being compelled to pay it again by any other individual  or group.

It was gathered that one Ichie Emmanuel Agadoyaobi (who know man) who they said does not have any portion of land at the site in question had earlier written to Nigeria Breweries PLC asking them not to pay any other group except his own group almost at the point of resolving all issues to enable the company effect the payment. The DG also posited that Nigeria Breweries PLC is ready to pay the compensation required of them but the lingering leadership problem is delaying that. He urged them to ensure that peace, harmony and mutual co-existence prevail, stressing that no single individual will take the compensation when it is paid. 

Contributing, the leader of Ubachima Land Owners by Inheritance Association, Elder Festus Ugonna Agbapuruonwu stated that they were invited by the DG, Bureau for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Engr. Peter Ohagwa for reconciliation, he noted that since Nigeria Breweries started  operation in their community 41 years ago, they have not compensated them as land owners stressing that they own land in their community by family Inheritance not communally.

Elder Festus also noted that there have been series of litigations over the land and accused Ichie Emmanuel Agadoyaobi of gathering a group of people who do not own any portion of land there to start contesting ownershi with the 29 families who geninuely own the land by Inheritance in order to defraud them of what is due to them. He listed the 29 families names as Nwakaibu, Umuduruobinaetiti, Umuduruehunyuo, Umuejiure, Umuonwudiwe, Umuotunba, Umuakuneme, Umuchukwuka, Umuobisereke, Umuemenariri, Umunwoji, Umuduruibekwe, Umuejikeduru, Umudugbe, Umungbeafu, Umulolo, Umuanyakaku, Umuokoiebi, Umugwuzumba, Umuobisirike, Umunwameme, Umuokirichukwu, Umuawudu, Umuamaechi, Umuejiadim, Umuemesim, Umuejikeonaobi, Umuchukwunwama and Umunwabuo.

Speaking further, Elder Festus also accused Nigeria Breweries PLC of neglecting its host community by not employing unemployed youths, and  by also not engaging in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that other notable companies do for their host communities. 

In his own contribution, the Chairman of the community, Mr. Ijezie Anthony expressed disappointment that since Nigeria Breweries PLC came to their place some individuals have not allowed the community to be united in order to get what is rightfully theirs. He reiterated that series of efforts have been made to resolve the lingering crisis hence the community set up a committee to look into the matter. Upon investigation the committee discovered that Elder Festus Ugonna Agbapuruonwu has valid documents that would enable them get their compensation both for the 29 families that own the land and for the community at large. 

Lending his voice also, the immediate past Chairman of the community, Dr. Amuchie maintained that there is no new set of 29 families that own the land except the one that own it right from time. He opined that even when he was the Chairman of the community, he advised Ichie Emmanuel Agadoyaobi to desist from his selfish and fraudulent agenda but he refused. He cautioned Ichie Emanuel and his group to toe the line of peace by removing their hands from the matter to enable the community together with the rightful owners of land get what is due to them and to the community.