By Chinasa Ogbonna
The Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) and her host communities have been advised to go into dialogue to enable them settle their differences amicably.
A frontline politician and one of the House of Assembly aspirants from Owerri-West, Barr. Chidi J. Ihemedu, who gave the advice in an interview with Christian Voice newspaper in his office at Owerri said that it is through dialogue they can make peace.
Barr. Ihemedu suggested that the vice-chancellor (VC), the traditional rulers from the three communities (Ihiagwa, Eziobodo, Obinze) and the presidents-general from the communities should form a joint committee to look into the matter and ascertain the boundary between the institution and her host communities to avoid further clash. He advised the management of FUTO to stop further advancement or expansion till the whole matter is finally settled.
Barr. Ihemedu condemned FUTO’s attitude to the demands of the communities on boundary demarcation and entitlements as landowners and urged the university to listen to them.
Commenting on the politics in Owerri West LGA, he said that a zoning arrangement exists in the LGA since 2003 and has been respected by the three clans making up the LGA.
The aspirant to the Imo House under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said that the LGA’s present representative in the House is a product of the zoning arrangement and it is not restricted to party.
He said the system had helped to maintain peace and called on the people to resist any attempt to disrupt it.
The lawyer said PDP had learnt its lesson and would guard against further mistakes adding that as a Development Centre Coordinator under PDP, he built a secretariat complex as well as a customary court complex gave water boreholes to communities and repaired roads.
He dismissed claims that PDP did nothing for the people and assured them of quality representation if given the mandate, pledging to ensure they regained what was denied them.