As the host communities of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Imo State, demand over N2 billion from the institution for the land acquired some 30 years ago, the state government has promised to resolve the lingering dispute.
Receiving the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; the chairman of the institution’s governing council, Prof. John Ofem; the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Francis Eze; the Registrar, John Nnabuihe; and the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mrs. Uche Bright-Nwelue, at the weekend in Owerri, Governor Emeka Ihedioha said his government would engage the parties at a roundtable to resolve the age-long land dispute.
He was optimistic that the move would usher in peace in the communities and the institution, noting that Imo was noted for high literacy level, which does not require disrepute.
Meanwhile, the attorney to the host communities, Chief Sam Anokam, has said that they were watching events and how the issue would be resolved.
Anokam maintained that clear understanding was necessary in the matter.
Ihedioha said: “We have a common goal in the area of education because education is very important to us in Imo State. We will dialogue with you to achieve the desired result.”
The governor commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Nwajiuba as Minister of State for Education.
He continued: “On behalf of the people of Imo, we extend our gratitude to Mr. President for appointing Hon. Nwajiuba as minister.
“Your (Nwajiuba) trajectory from the House of Representatives to your appointment as a minister is well appreciated by the people of the state.
You are a son in whom we are well pleased.”
On his part, Nwajiuba said the Federal Ministry of Education decided to review its position on the FUTO land dispute to demonstrate a commitment to long-lasting resolution.
He noted that the Federal Government was desirous of ensuring full academic studies.
Later, they went in for a closed-door meeting.