Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 6 July 2019 | 884 times
Security officers from Anambra State Police Command, on Friday, reportedly shot canisters of teargas at women from Abba community in Njikoka Local Government Area, as a way of preventing them from accessing Oye market for business.
The Oye market was some time ago relocated to a junction along the Enugu-Onitsha expressway but within the community, where they were resettled to run their business.
It was learnt that the action was the outcome of a recent land tussle between the community and their neighbours, Ukpo in Dunukofia Local Government Area of the state.
News Express reports that women from the community had last week taken the issue to the government house in a protest to complain to Governor Willie Obiano.
Their gross was that a certain multi-billionaire from Ukpo was behind the forceful takeover of their land.
Speaking to our Correspondent, an elder in the community, Mr .Sylvester Nwafor, said: “It is a shameful thing that the billionaire (name withheld) had to send police men to chase our women away from our market. It is so bad to the extent that it makes us feel as if we do not have men in our community.
“They shot teargas at our women, most of whom are old women, and denied them the opportunity to carry out business in our market today. As I speak with you, Oye Ukpo market is in session, but he sent security men to come and chase us from our own market.
“At my age, I was even among the 14 people who were arrested by police on the order of this man, and we spent several days in prison. We are calling on Governor Obiano to please come to our aid.”
One of the women chased away by the police officers, Mrs Catherine Nwafor on her part said: “It was after they chased us away from the market that we decided to come here. Some of us who went to the market yesterday and dropped our wares, they refused us going to pick them, while many people also lost their wares when they started shooting teargas at us.”
In his reaction, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Haruna Mohammed, said there was no such incident as tear gassing of women, neither was there any case of complicity by the police.
“The Command received intelligence report of imminent clash between the two neighbouring communities and deployment was made as a proactive measure to forestall any breakdown of law and order in the area.
“As I speak to you now the AC OPS and DPO are on ground to ensure safety and security in the Area,” Mohammed said.
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