A protest which occurred at Obosi, Idemili North Council Area of Anambra State heightened tension in the community. The protest was done by some residents against the building of a union secretariat in Ihionu Street by the Ozalla Landlords Association.
The spokesmen of the residents of Ihionu Street, Chief Kelvin Nnamdi and Emeka Ihionu, said the promoters of the secretariat project did not inform the landlords and tenants of Ihionu Street, before the President-General of the association embarked on the project.
Residents of Ihionu Street, Ozalla Layout in Obosi Urban, had opposed the building of a secretariat by the leadership of the Landlords Association, saying that the project was being built without their consent on their only exit road.
“Tuesday morning, when many residents had travelled home for the Christmas and New Year celebrations, we saw people digging a foundation at the entrance of Ihionu Street from Urum and Oraifite streets’ end.
“We tried to stop them and find out what the foundation was all about, but they called the President-General of Ozalla Landlords Association, who came and told us that they were building a secretariat for the association.
“Ihionu Street is one of the over hundred streets and roads that make up Ozalla Layout Obosi Urban; it is linked to the popular Ezeiweka Road, Awada and Oraifite, Urum and Osumenyi streets, all in Obosi and shares boundary with Anambra State Broadcasting Service, ABS, Radio and Television stations.
“We confronted the President- General of Ozalla Landlords Association, Mr. Emeka Esiotu with our rejection of building the so-called secretariat on the road to our street but he did not give us any good reason for siting such a project on the only exit road that joins us with the rest of Ozalla residents.”
Mr. Emeka Ihionu, a youth leader on the street wondered why a project like an association’s office should be built on the existing road instead of the promoters looking for land scattered in Obosi for such a project.
“Ihionu Street is one out of over 1000 roads and streets in Ozalla Layout, Obosi Urban, why will the exit of our street road be the only suitable place to build a secretariat that will block the road completely?
“How can anybody build a secretariat on an existing road? If we allow the project, what it means is that we have only an entry road to our street, without any exit and if there is an emergency like a fire outbreak, there is no way fire fighters can come into the street, if the only entrance, which is Ezeiweka Road, is blocked.
“People are fond of building illegal structures during the Christmas and New Year, when people have travelled. If they had tried building this when many of our youths were still around, they would have run away from here. We urge the government to intervene to avert a crisis here.
Effort to speak with the President- General of Ozalla Landlords Association, Mr. Esiotu, failed as he did not pick calls to his phone or respond to text message sent to him.
However, the traditional ruler of Obosi, Igwe Chidubem Iweka, when contacted, said that he is not aware of such a controversial project in his domain, adding that neither those for or against the project has informed him.
He warned that executing such a project that is causing crisis in his domain without his knowledge is an affront on his throne, adding that if bonafide Obosi boys were aware of the project, they would have informed him before the contractors started digging the foundation.
“Now that you have informed me, I will send my Secretary to go to Ozalla Layout to find out what is happening there. I know that one Emeka Esiotu is the President- General there, why will he not tell me if he is carrying out such a project?”