The people of Umudibia autonomous community in Owerri, Imo State, have said that there was the need to set the records straight, regarding which community rightly plays host to Federal Polytechnic, Nekede (FEDPONEK).
Speaking on behalf of the people, His Royal Highness, Eze Godwin Merenini (Dibia I), said there was no room for controversy over the issue as the truth was already known by all stakeholders.
He said that Umudibia autonomous community hosts only the polytechnic and has never laid host claim to any of the institutions hosted by the neighbouring communities. According to him, Umuoma community, for instance, is one of the communities hosting Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Umudibia has never contested that position with them. He said he would continue to wonder why Umuoma and Umualum communities still want to share in the benefits deserving to Umudibia.
“I enjoin our neighbouring communities to give some accolades to the rector, Dr. M. C. Arimanwa, instead of unwarranted attacks. The rector, since the inception of his administration, has done well in the area of security in and around the former Nekede community viz Umualum, Umuoma and Umudibia. Our last check on employment exercise that took place in 2020, many Umuoma and Umualum indigenes benefitted.
“Again, It would be of great benefit even to posterity if all these communities will abide by the court ruling of 2018 and respect our boundaries, independence, autonomy and peaceful co-existence as neighbouring autonomous communities” Merenini submitted.
He mentioned that the just concluded 2021 presidential visitation panel to the FEDPONEK, noted that the court judgment declaring Umudibia community, Owerri West, the sole host community to the polytechnic still stands.
Arimanwa, reacting to the assail on his person and office, enumerated the benefits extended to the neighbouring communities, Umualum and Umuoma, which includes award of minor contracts, employment consideration for indigenes of the communities, admission to the indigenous youths, direct financial assistance, amongst others.
For instance, Nkalagu Cement Industry which was jointly owned by the defunct Imo and Enugu states was ceded to Enug as Nkalagu is situated in Enugu and it was not contested.