AWKA – Leaders of the Nteje Community in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra have called on the Anambra Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, to protect its citizens from incessant harassment and intimidation by security men set on them by a prominent member of the community.
They made the call in a press conference in Awka on Friday following last week Thursday, June 16, 2022 invasion of the community by suspected security operatives.
The spokesman of the community Mr Martins Okechukwu said that seven persons including Chief Benneth Chinweze, the acting President General of Nteje were wounded by people suspected to be security operatives.
He said: “Apart from our President-General, now lying critically ill, one Oluebube Anukwu who was among seven persons that sustained gun shots is now dead, while five others are receiving treatments in different hospitals.
“Before now, Nteje has been a peaceful community, but in the past 10 years now all that we are facing are incessant attacks and arrest of our people and in some cases taken to Abuja where they suffer grievously,” he said.
Okechukwu accused one Chief Mike Nwakalor as the person fanning the crisis due to his interest in land grabbing activities.
He said that the Nteje community today has about four army checkpoints which some privileged individuals take undue advantage to harass the residents.
The President-General Chief Benneth Chinweze who doubles as the Regent said he was driving on June 16 when suddenly some persons who all covered their faces double-crossed his vehicle and ordered him out of the vehicle.
“They forced me into their Hilux truck, tie my legs and hands and blindfolded me before they began to give me treatments like a common criminal.
“As you can see, I cannot raise my two hands up or use them to eat and bathe, I am just helpless here as you can see,” he said.
He also blamed Chief Nwakalor as the person behind his ordeal.
However, when contacted, Chief Mike Nwakalor said he was not involved in the problem which occurred in Nteje on June 16 and do not have hand in land grabbing activities in Nteje.
He said: “As a community leader, I heard what happened and upon investigation, I was told that Chief Chinweze had a petition against him and when security operatives came for him, he tried to evade arrest.
“I further gathered that those who got gun shots blocked security operatives and in the exchange of gunfire some of them got injured,” he said.
Nwakalor also explained that he was also not involved in any land dispute with any person in Nteje, saying, “I have 200 plots of land between Nteje Park and Umunya and the property is not in dispute because I have my certificate of occupancy.”
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In his reaction, the Police Spokesman Tochukwu Ikenga, a Deputy Superintendent of Police Anambra State said that the command was not aware of the matter which occurred in Nteje on June 16.
He rather urged the people of Nteje who are affected by the matter to come up with information that could help the police in nipping the matter in the bud.