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Leaders within the Nimo community of Anambra State’s Njikoka local government area found themselves at the center of controversy as hundreds of protesting women accused them of land grabbing during a demonstration on Wednesday.
They gathered at the Government House in Awka, brandishing placards, and issued a stern ultimatum that Governor Chukwuma Soludo must urgently address their concerns, or they’ll resort to a stark naked protest against their leaders.
The crux of the matter was the women’s appeal to the state government to reign in their traditional ruler and the town union executive. They leveled allegations of unbridled land sales against them and expressed concerns about the looming threat of a communal war if this issue isn’t resolved swiftly.
Some of their placards read: ‘The leadership of Nimo Town Union Development must go’, ‘Nimo Town Union leadership has no right to sell or negotiate our land’, among others.
Speaking on behalf of the women, Mrs. Ifeoma Ezeozue said that the protest aimed to address the haphazard sale of their ancestral farmlands, a practice that neglects the well-being of generations to come.
She pointed fingers at the leaders, alleging that they’ve transformed the community into their exclusive property. Moreover, she accused them of using security personnel to instill fear and harass both the youth and those who raise objections to their deeds.
She said: ‘Nimo ancestral farmlands are being sold out indiscriminately without our notice. We no longer go to farm because there is no more land to farm. They want to force us into prostitution. They have forced us to be sitting at home in Nimo community as we wake up everyday and stay idle at home without any engagement. Farming is one of our major sources of livelihood in the area and now they have deprived us the opportunity of cultivating on our communal land. So, our coming to the State Government House, is to register our pitiable condition before the governor to help us address the problem.’
Prof. Solo Chukwulubelu, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), who represented the state government, delivered a message to the women, urging them to stay calm. He promised that the state government would promptly attend to their demands.
The SSG was given the protest letter by the women as well.