Mayhem looms in Anambra over land dispute
Community protests against murder in church
The Ezi-Nkwelle kinsmen of Nkwelle Ezunaka community in Oyi Council, Anambra State, have appealed to Governor Willie Obiano and the State Boundary Committee, headed by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke, to resolve the land dispute between them and the people of Osile Ogbunike before it leads to bloodshed.
Addressing newsmen in his hometown yesterday, Chairman of Ezi-Nkwelle village, Chief Wilfred Okafor, accompanied by the counsel, Emeka Asiegbu, told Obiano and his deputy that if they fail to resolve the matter urgently, it would be assumed that the state government wanted the crisis to lead to breakdown of law and order.
Okafor alleged that last Thursday, when his people got information that the portion of the disputed land given to them by Anambra State Boundary Committee had been sold and they decided to go and eject the Illegal occupants, they were threatened by armed policemen, allegedly working for the occupants and people who allotted the area to them.
He said: “We have obeyed the state government, done all that is required for peace to reign between us and Osile Ogbunike, including payment of N1,885,000 the state boundary committee asked us to pay for the installation of demarcation and monuments at the disputed land, yet the state seems to be foot-dragging in carrying out the assignment.”
But the police said they did not stop anybody from executing court orders, saying security personnel went to ensure peace. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Mr. Haruna Mohammed, alleged that hoodlums blocked the road and smashed windscreens of motorists in the area.
“The timely intervention of police calmed the situation, leading to restoration of normalcy and free flow of traffic,” Mohammed added.
ALSO, residents of Umu Ehiam community in Abam Azia, Ihiala Council of Anambra State, last weekend, marched round the town to protest against the gruesome murder of Kenneth Ekwesianya, his wife and 32-year-old daughter in a church.
The protesters, in their hundreds, marched from Umuehiam community hall through the town centre where youths of Azia town joined them as they moved to the Divisional Police Station, Azia. They chanted war songs and condemned the killings.
The demonstrators also stormed the Secretariat of Azia General Assembly (AGA), where they were addressed by the Secretary-General of AGA, Onyebuagu Jude.
Earlier, 104-year-old Boniface Onyejekwe, said to be the oldest man in the community, blessed the demonstrators and urged them to be peaceful.
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Azia lauded the protesters for their peaceful conduct, saying he could not comment on the matter, as all enquiries about the killing should be directed to the PPRO, Mohammed, in Awka. He assured that the law must catch up with those behind the heinous crime.
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