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Thursday, August 06, 2020

Awba-Ofemili women protest harassment of Monarch, detention of sons - ITREALMS

Some hundreds of placard–carrying women from Awba-Ofemili in Awka North local government area of Anambra State, Thursday, August 6, stormed the Government House, Awka to protest the alleged harassment of their traditional ruler, Igwe Ezekwesili Maduagwuna and the continued border skirmishes between them and their neighbours, Ibite-Olo in Ezeagu local government area of Enugu State.

One person was recently killed during the border clash, while five people from the community were still being detained in a correctional center in Enugu State.

Some of the placards carried by the women read: “Our Monarch has no hand in any killing”, “Awba Ofemili cannot succumb to intimidation”, “Anambra government please save us from our neighbours”, “Release our children being detained in Enugu” and “Some people in our community are enemies of the people.”

Their spokesperson, Mrs. Grace Nwabufor said they decided to come to the Government House because the issue was getting out of hand, adding that as farmers, they were being denied their source of livelihood as security operatives from Enugu State often chased them away from their farms.

She said: “We are overwhelmed by what we are experiencing in our community. For the past four years, we have not known peace because of the land dispute between us and Ibite Ollo in Enugu State.

“The deputy governors of the two states who are in charge of their boundary commissions decided that we should continue to farm on our end until a proper demarcation of the boundaries of the two states, but we are chased away anytime we go to the farm.

“Sometime this year while we were in the farm, they came with guns and in their attempt to chase us out, killed one person. Since then, the entire community, including our traditional ruler, is being harassed by police from Enugu State such that the Monarch has gone into hiding.

*Vincent Ujumadu in Awka/Vanguard/Editor

Pix: Awba-Ofemili women protesting in Awka.

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