Anambra Monarch, Indigenes Clash Over Land
Some members of the Enugwu Agidi community in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State are at loggerheads with their monarch, Igwe Izuchukwu Onyeocha, over ownership and possession of some parcels of land in the community.
The aggrieved community members, led by the community’s President-General, Mr Victor Mgbajiaka, accused the monarch of masterminding various attacks carried out by suspected land grabbers.
Mgbajiaka, while speaking to journalists during a press conference in Awka, on Friday, claimed that so far, 12 persons have been injured and two women were allegedly raped by thugs used by the suspected land grabbers.
He claimed that over 1,000 plots of the community land had been forcefully taken while many farmlands were destroyed by the land grabbers.
Mgbajiaka said, “We are calling on Governor Chukwuma Soludo to save us from the activities of these land grabbers who have taken over about 1,000 plots of the community land by force and destroying farm land and crops of our people.
“They are parading thugs who have been attacking our people and as of now about 12 persons have been injured and we learnt that two women were raped by those thugs.”
One of the aggrieved members, Madam Evelyn Okeke-Nta, 65, said, “I went to my farm one day and discovered that all my crops had been destroyed and when I confronted the thugs who came with a bulldozer, they attacked me and warned me that if I disturb their clearing of the land, the bulldozer would run me down.”
But in a swift reaction, Igwe Onyeocha, when contacted, dismissed all the allegations against him, saying he had no hand in any land grabbing activities as claimed by the aggrieved members of the community.
He added that the plots of land he acquired were officially bought by him with relevant documents to back them up, challenging the aggrieved members to come up with evidence that he forcefully took over their land.
He said, “Those people are just being jealous and envious and it’s a mere conspiracy by the group to malign me. It is because I refused to give them money that they turned round to accuse me of land grabbing when they know that there is nothing like communal land.
“One of them came to me after I had bought a land from his family and asked that I pay him if I must take possession of the land. I promised to give him money but when the money wasn’t forthcoming he went about accusing me of land grabbing.
“The man that claimed to be the president general of the town who is also among them is only impersonating, because his three months tenure as an interim PG has passed and he is still parading himself as the PG.”