Awka Community Protests Against Govt | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Awka Community Protests Against Govt

Posted: May 16, 2015 at 5:14 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


By Chukwujekwu Ilozue, Awka


Awka people, the owners of Anambra State capital, Awka, have protested the acquisition of their land by the state government for development purposes.

They also demanded for the immediate removal of the state Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Chief Lawrence Chinwuba.

Though, the commissioner was not around at the state secretariat, the state Head of Service (HOS), Mr. Chidi Ezeoke, who addressed the protesters pleaded for patience.

The over 200 protesters from Awka community were led by the chairmen of 20 villages in Ezinano, Comrade Obi Ochije, and Rev. Ifeanyi Victor Nebe.

They carried a coffin round the community before moving to the secretariat, chanting war songs with placards.

Some of the placards read: “Awka and Aguleri are brothers, Chinwuba rest in peace, Chinwuba is a cancer in Obiano’s administration, Rock Land must leave Awka,” among others.

The community alleged that the commissioner had taken about 70 plots of Awka land, while he had developed up to 15 and refused to pay compensation on them.

At the secretariat while addressing the Head of Service (HOS), Rev. Ifeanyi Victor Nebe, special Adviser on Lands to the community and consultant on Awka lands said the community had petitioned severally on the issue to no avail.

He listed some of the areas the community conceded its lands to the government as the secretariat, Governor’s Lodge, teaching hospital, state police command, Department of Security Service (DSS), prisons, high court among others.

Nebe said though the government owned every land, that forceful acquisition of land by individuals especially, government official had not taken such dimension anywhere in the country the way it was in Awka.

Furthermore, the community alleged that over 70 hectres of land of theirs had been acquired by individuals with impunity.

Also, Ochije, contributing, demanded that Rock Land Investment Company should not step into any land in Awka from now, or a different thing would happen in the state.

He pleaded with the state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, to urgently intervene in the matter before it turned to bloodshed in the land.

Again, he said they would mourn the commissioner for seven days as Awka customs and tradition demand, while the men would not touch their wives and would be in hunger strike within the period.

However, addressing the protesters, the HOS, Chidi Ezeoke, told them that their demands would be quickly forwarded to the Governor who had not been in the state for some days.

Ezeoke, commended the protesters for the peaceful nature of their action, adding that their anger was well- deserved.

He pleaded with them to be calm and await the response of the state governor, adding that he would relay their requests to the governor when he returned.