Posted by News Express | 4 June 2020 | 831 times
By OBINNA ODOGWU, Awka
Protesters numbering over 700 from Nibo and Abba communities in Awka South and Njikoka Local Government Areas of Anambra State, yesterday, besieged the Government House, Awka to protest the alleged invasion of their lands by their neighbours.
For Nibo community, the residents of Umuamam village stormed the state’s seat of power to protest the alleged invasion and bulldozing of their land allegedly by youths from three villages in Awka town.
The protesters led by Ichie Ikenna Ekwenugo, alleged that hundreds of youths from three villages in Awka, their neighbouring community, have taken over their ancestral land measuring 250,000 square metres.
The aggrieved villagers came with placards with various inscriptions such as: ‘Over 250,000 sq. m. of ancestral land which have been in dispute for centuries were bulldozed. Economic trees, farm crops, survey beacons, fences, plantations, etc were and are being destroyed.’
‘Is there no boundary commission in Anambra State?’ ‘Is it difficult to differentiate between Nibo town and Awka town within Anambra State?’ ‘Save Our Souls Governor Willie Obiano. Intervene urgently’ among others.
Ekwenugo said: “On the 2nd of May, Umuamam village in Nibo community was invaded by hundreds of youths from Awka namely Umuike, Umujagwo and Umuoruka. They call themselves Akamanato Awka. They invaded Ifite Nibo, Umuamam quarter.
“Since then, they have been bulldozing our farmland starting from the ring road down to the homestead where we are living. Our farmlands have so much been devastated. You cannot see any palm tree. Nothing is standing”, he lamented.
For Abba community which has been in land dispute with their neighbouring Ukpo community, the protesters led by Ichie Obinna Chukwuma, said that they came to register their displeasure over the “actions and inactions of the state government towards their plight.”
“Since June last year, Abba community has been under siege. Police have been visiting Abba community almost on a daily basis, harassing and arresting people; intimidating us.
“In fact, it got to a point that it was difficult for an Abba man to go to Oye-Agwu Abagana, Nkwo Awkuzu, or any market in the neighbouring towns to buy something. Once you’re identified as an Abba man, you will be arrested”, Chukwuma lamented.
Responding, the Secretary to the State Government [SSG], Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, assured the protesters that the government would look into their matters and resolve them as soon as possible.
While commending the people for being peaceful, the SSG appealed to the visibly angry protesters not to resort to violence in their areas as the government has committees headed by the Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke, who would look into their matters and resolve them. (Daily Sun)
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