Scores of indigenes of Urum community in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State on Friday stormed the Government House in Awka, asking the state governor, Willie Obiano, to sack their traditional ruler, Igwe Benedict Nweke, over an alleged sale of communal land.
They alleged that the monarch sold over 800 plots of land belonging to the community to a certain developer.
Igwe Nweke has denied the allegation, saying the ownership of the land had since been revoked by the state government.
The protesters, who were conveyed to Awka, the state capital, in over 50 buses, displayed placards; some of which read, ‘The future of our people is bleak with the sale of this land’; ‘we have no other source of sustenance’; ‘Igwe, don’t sell our common heritage’; and ‘We say no to land fraudsters’.
Attempts by the police to stop them from going ahead with the protest were rebuffed, as the protesters, mostly women, marched while chanting war songs and making derogatory remarks about the monarch.
In a statement made available to reporters, they accused Igwe Nweke of “using iron hands” on them, urging the state government to strip him of the title as the traditional ruler of Urum community.
In the statement, signed by the President-General of the town, Mr. Dominic Umeadi, and the patron of the town, Prof. Ephraim Aniebona, among others, the people urged the state government to revoke the land acquisition and recover the public funds allegedly paid to wrong hands.
In a telephone interview, Igwe Nweke dismissed the action of his subjects, insisting that he never sold any land belonging to the community.
According to him, the Certificate of Occupancy of the land was revoked by the state government, thereby paving the way for government acquisition. (Anambrarians News)