Mercenaries invade community, disrupt peaceful protest, chase journalists away

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 13 August 2019 | 1,071 times

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A planned peaceful protest in Umuobam community, Ojobi, Umunya, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State turned bloody on Tuesday when some group of persons alleged to be mercenary invaders stormed the community laying claim to the community’s land.

The protesters, with the journalists who came to cover the protest, narrowly escaped the attack as everyone took to their heels to escape the irate invaders.

The protesters claimed to be the rightful owners of the land located at Nkwelle junction and were in the area for a peaceful protest against the intruders when they were attacked.

Addressing journalists shortly after the incident, the chairman of the community, Augustine Onalue, expressed shock over the unexpected attack.

He explained that the State Government had three months ago, through the National Boundary Commission, instructed that nobody should venture into the said land.

“We went to Onyenekwu land which rightfully belongs to us and which the government ordered that nobody should enter.

“When we got there, we saw some people working there and we demanded to know on whose instruction they were there, suddenly, they started fighting us, shooting at us with guns and attacking us with all kinds of weapons. They beat us ruthlessly and injured many of us.”

He called on government intervention saying the land was not officially allocated to the invaders, adding: “They entered that land through a kangaroo way. The land is more than eight hectares and it’s just a contractor who is busy developing the place and selling structures at different rates, N5 million, N3 million per shop, all for his personal enterprise.”

While expressing shock at the speed with which the people are building in the said land, he said: “Every day you come here you see work going on. They even work in the night and on Sundays.

“We don’t know them; that’s why we were enquiring from them. But instead of answering us, they started attacking us.”

According to him, they have explored so many options which include writing to the state governor, Boundary Commission and the Police, but nothing positive has come out of as work continues in the land.

Source: News Express

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