The 81 Division of Nigerian Army on Wednesday inaugurated a six-man committee to resolve land disputes between military personnel and members of their host communities.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the division, Maj.-Gen. Lawrence Fejokwu, said that the inauguration was by the guidance of the Chief Of Army Staff (COAS), Maj.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya.
Fejokwu said that the division had been receiving series of complaints regarding disputes between personnel of the Nigerian Army and their host community members.
According to him, the disputes sometimes turn violent.
“We are taking another step forward and toward solving the problem of land dispute in 81 Division area of responsibility as it affect our personnel both serving and retired.
“We have been inundated with complaints on various occasions from both sides,” he said.
The GOC said that soldiers complained that communities revoked lands bought by them which appreciated overtime, and re-allocated them other lands not of equal value.
“This problem has persisted, and the COAS has charged that whenever we identify a problem in our area of responsibility, we must continue to interrogate and profer solution.
“The idea behind this committee is that anybody with land complaint within 81 Div. areas must have to go through the committee to solve the case.
“They will tender their papers to the committee and, if there is a case, the committee will go as a representative of the divison to resolve such a land dispute in an amicable manner,” he said.
Fejokwu said that the approach would solve the problem of communities revoking land that had been sold to personnel and stop soldiers from taking laws into their hands.
“We are presenting a common front toward solving the problem of land issues as they concern the personnel of the Nigerian Army and our host communities.
“We hope that this approach will, once and for all, solve the issue of land dispute between personnel of Nigerian Army and our host communities,” the GOC said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Standing Land Committee members include Brig.-Gen. Nasiru Nagidada, Chairman; Captain Nurudeen Maigari, Secretary, and Col. Afam Chukwuma, member.
Other members are Maj. Abdulazeez Jimoh, Lt. Yusuf Matthew and Lt. Aliyu Alakan.