Indigenes of Ntoko community in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State have accused the factional monarch of Awka community, Igwe Austin Ndigwe, of land grabbing.
Indigenes of the community, who took a protest to the Anambra State Government House on Monday, blocked the gate calling on the state governor, Willie Obiano, to wade into the illegal acquisition of their land by the monarch.
The protesters, numbering over 100, carried placards conveying their displeasure, claiming that Ndigwe who is one of the two monarchs in Awka has illegally appropriated part of their community land to himself.
Some of the placards wielded by the protesters read, “Austin Ndigwe leave our land alone, stop this your terror on our people, Austin Ndigwe, release our people you arrested, please, Governor Willie Obiano come to our rescue”.
Speaking with reporters, leader of the protesting community, Mr Vincent Ike said, “The People of Ntoko community have over the years been troubled by the disorderliness conduct of Austine Ndigwe, and the forceful takeover of Ntoko Land.
“He had continued to threaten the Community illegally, and claimed ownership of our community lands, and had continued to hijack some property belonging to the sons and daughters of the community.
“Anybody that dared to challenge his actions is always made to receive the beating of his life by the miscreants and hoodlums he uses to execute his wickedness”.
The Special Adviser to Governor Obiano on Security, Safety and Emergency, Chikodi Anarah, who addressed the protesters, assured them that the government would not allow them suffer any harassment or intimidation from any person or group.
He commended the community for not taking the law into their hands but choosing to protest peacefully to bring their plight to the attention of government.
Meanwhile, Ndigwe has denied appropriating any land belonging to the community.
Reacting to claims by the protesters, Ndigwe told journalists that allegation that he used thugs to arrest people of the community was false, claiming instead that the community invaded landed property belonging to his community.