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We’re not ESN members, Anambra community cries out

  Youths numbering about 200 from Nteje Community in Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State, on Saturday staged a peaceful demonstration t...


Youths numbering about 200 from Nteje Community in Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State, on Saturday staged a peaceful demonstration to dissociate themselves from the allegations of being labelled members of Eastern Security Network, an arm of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.

The youths converged on the divisional headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force in Nteje, from where they marched with banners and placards through the Onitsha/Enugu Expressway to Awkuzu junction before ending at Amaokpo, Orukabi village square, Ifite Nteje.

Addressing journalists, the community youth leader, Chinedu Okechukwu, confirmed that they held the protest to dissociate themselves from the frivolous allegations that Nteje youths were members of the ESN.

Okechukwu said a faction in the community sent a petition to security agencies labelling them ESN members, a situation that made the military invade the community and start shooting indiscriminately, thereby killing and injuring some of them.

He said, “A faction in our community labelled us members of the ESN in a petition they sent to the security agencies.

“Acting on this frivolous petition, DSS operatives and some army personnel came to our place on June 16, 2022, and in the course of the operation, shot some people and rough handled our President-General.

“As of today, two of these persons, Oluebube Anukwu and Chinazaekpere Areh, who had gunshot injuries, have died with others still lying very critical in the hospitals.”

Okechukwu disclosed that land grabbing was at the centre of the dispute rocking the community.

He, therefore, appealed to Governor Chukwuma Soludo to urgently intervene in the matter.

“Many of us no longer sleep in our houses because some people engage security operatives illegally to harass and intimidate others in order to bring buyers to sell lands belonging to others.

“We even gathered that some of the land grabbers brought bulldozer now and are clearing lands belonging to others because the atmosphere is tensed since after the June 16 invasion of the community by the military,” he added.

Addressing the youths at Amaokpo Orukabi village square, Ifite Nteje, a senior police officer, who preferred anonymity, commended the youths for their thoughtfulness in embracing peace in the community.

“Why police joined you in this peaceful march is to send the signal that we want peaceful co-existence amongst various warring groups in Nteje.

“Youths, all over the world, are agents of peace and development, but the reverse has been the case here for close to 10 years now.

“People have been fighting each other, and some have been killed, maimed and property valued millions of naira destroyed, all in a bid for one group to exercise dominance over another,” he said.

The senior police officer added that he decided that Amaokpo Orukabi village square, Ifite Nteje, be used as the venue for the addy so that both God and the ancestors of the community would stand in judgment against those causing crisis.

“It is regrettable that the proximity of Anambra State International Passenger/Cargo Airport Umueri to your community rather than being a blessing has turned into a problem.

“Stop this bloodletting, emulate Aguleri and Umueri people and make peace so that enduring development will be recorded in your community,” he said.

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