Security operatives comprising the police, soldiers, civil defence, and vigilantes have taken over Nimo community in Njikoka LGA of Anambra State, over protests to stop the sale of the community land by some individuals in the area.
The operatives were in the community to stop the protest, for which some youth had gathered to register their displeasure over what they described as the activities of a few rich people in the community.
The sight of the fully armed security operatives, however, sent fear into most members of the community.
The operatives, who accosted the youths at Oye Nimo, stopped them from marching around the community with their placards, saying they did not get clearance from the police to hold any protest.
The protesters who spoke to journalists insisted that they had duly received clearance, and that the protest was against the sale of a large parcel of land in the community, known as Ana Owa.
Though, they were stopped from undertaking the protest march, they however displayed placards with various inscriptions.
Some of the placards read: ‘Ana Owa is not for sale’, ‘Stop selling off our inheritance’, and ‘You are supposed to be protecting us’, among others.
Barr Chux Okonkwo, a Lagos-based legal practitioner and former chairman of Nimo Town Development Union, Lagos branch, who participated in the protest accused some powerful leaders in the community of being responsible for the sale of their inheritance, but did not name them.
He said: “A vast expanse of land, known as “Ana Owa”, which was gotten by conquest during a communal war many decades ago, is being sold off today by some people in this community.
“They said they have realised N900 million from sales of the land, even though no one authorised them to sell it, and they now claim they have spent N1.2 billion, which means we owe them about N300,000. They cannot even account for what they did with the funds.
“That is why we are protesting, but you see the platoon of security men they brought to stop us. It is the same people that are selling off the land that are trying everything possible to stop us.”
The leader of the protesting youths, Mr Chigbo Aniedobe, told journalists that the elements in the community have changed the name of the land from Ana Owa to Obodo Oma Estate, and have put a price tag of N3.1 million per plot.
“We are not ready to fight anyone, we are not going to make trouble, but this protest is for government to hear our cry and come to our aid. At least, posterity will vindicate us that we spoke up when this was happening,” he stated.