Police, Anambra Community Clash Over Land

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The people of Awka, the Anambra State capital, have clashed with the police over a communal land dispute.
The Awka natives which included men, women and youth numbering over 200 clashed with armed police operatives stationed yesterday at the Agu-Nawgu communal land.
The Awka natives in Awka-South local government area have been at loggerheads with their neighbouring Enugwu-Agidi community in Njideka local government area over the ownership of the Agu-Nawgu communal land.
An attempt by the police to stop the Awka natives who stormed the entrance gate into the communal land by shooting at them witnessed stiff resistance from the youths who were in the forefront as bullets could not penetrate their leader when an AK-47 rifle-wielding police operative shot at him.
“Continue shooting at me; continue shooting at me. Come and kill me. Who brought you people here?”, the youth leader kept on challenging the armed policeman who shot at him, charging and moving towards him.
Some of the Awka natives, including Hon Richard Onuorah from Ezinano village, Chief Arinze Ekenem from Umuokpu, Mrs Gloria Ezunuike from Amikwo and Mrs Chineno Emesina from Umuanaga village accused the people of Enugwu-Agidi of trying to take over their ancestral land.
Onuorah and Ekenem claimed that they were the original owners of the large expanse of land and that the people of Enugwu-Agidi used to pay their people royalties on the land but suddenly stopped.
They said that they decided to recover their land and had built houses with their women farming on other parts of the land but that the Enugwu-Agidi people started destroying their building materials and their farm crops.
They accused the police of helping the Enugwu-Agidi people to take over their community land from them by trying to stop them from entering to take over.
Mrs Ezunuike and Emesina claimed that they cultivated cassava, maize, yam, among others, on the farm but that the people of Enugwu-Agidi have destroyed them and were chasing them away from their farms.
When contacted, the commissioner of police in the state, CP Aderemi Adeoye stated that he did not deploy any police personnel to the disputed communal land.
But one of the 14 policemen who spoke to newsmen off-mic at the disputed land said that they were deployed to secure the land by the commissioner of police.


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