Ntoko Community dwellers in Awka South local government area of Anambra State blocked the Government House gate to protest illegal acquisition of their land and alleged arrest of some of them by Chief Austin Ndigwe.
The protesters, numbering over 100, stormed the Government House with placards with appealing to Governor Willie Obiano to rescue them.
But in a quick reaction, Ndigwe, who claims to be the traditional ruler of Awka with the name (Eze-Uzu 111), told The Nation he had no business with the people.
He also claimed that he did not order for the arrest of anybody, but said those making such claims were the people who had invaded the land of his Community.
He described them as confused individuals who had nothing to do, adding that they were occupying the land of his people.
However, some of the placards displayed by Ntoko indigenes 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 ‘ among others.
The protesters were addressed by Obiano’s Special Adviser, on Security, Safety and Emergency, Chief Sir Chikodi Anarah, who assured them that government would not allow them to suffer any harassment or intimidation from any person or group.
He commended the Community for not talking laws into their hands, rather, chose the peaceful way of doing things in a democratic set up.
Anarah told them that the state government under Governor Willie Obiano is a listening one and would step into the matter with a view to settling it amicably within a short time.
He said Court Judgements should be respected because according to him “we live here under the law. Anambra is such a state where people feel free because of Obiano’s style of leadership and we like the way you have restrained yourselves from being violent in such situations “he said
Speaking with reporters, the leader of the protesting Community, Mr Vincent Ike, who represented the Chairman, said they were under terror attach from Ndigwe and his thugs.
“The People of Ntoko community had over the years been troubled by pandemonium and disorderliness, forceful takeover of Ntoko Land, massive destruction of their property and intimidations by one dictator from Awka community called Chief Austin Ndigwe”
“From time immemorial, he had continued to wreak havoc and even built his personal farm (AUSCO Farm), wonderland in Ntoko Community without any authorization from the land owner
“He had continued to threaten the Community illegally, claimed ownership of their 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 hood looms he uses to execute his wickedness”
“Recently, the reoccurrence of this ugly development had led to sporadic shooting in the said land which the Enugu court of Appeal gave Ntoko community favourable judgment against evil actions”
“According to the judgment, he was warned to stay clear from the Land.Against this development; he had continued to carry on with his deadly action against the Community”
“This scenario had led to massive arrest of some vibrant Youths of the Community, namely: Messrs Edwin Nwankwo, Prophet Uche Okafor, Christian Ogbonna and Stephen llo among others now in the police custody Abuja, who did nothing to him but who he considered as his main opponents”
“We therefore appeal to His Excellency, our amiable Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano, Akpokuedike Global, to come to our rescue and ensure that Austin Ndigwe Stay clear from our lands, release our children, and guard against disturbing the peace loving people ofNtoko Community,” they said