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Land Grabbing Crisis: Nteje Community Leaders Seek Soludo’s Intervention over Harassments by Security Operatives



Leaders of Nteje community in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra have appealed to the State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo to save them from incessant harassment and intimidation of its natives by security operatives.

The community made the appeal over the weekend at a news conference in Awka following alleged invasion of Nteje by suspected security operatives on Thursday June 16, 2022.

Mr Martins Okechukwu, spokesman of the community explained that seven persons including Chief Benneth Chinweze, the acting President General of Nteje were wounded by people suspected to be security operatives during the attack.

“Apart from our President General, now laying critically ill, one Oluebube Anukwu who was among seven persons that sustained gun shots is now dead, while five others are receiving treatments in different hospitals.

“Before now, Nteje has been a peaceful community, but in the past 10 years now all that we are facing are incessant attacks and arrest of our people and in some cases taken to Abuja where they suffer grievously”, he said.

Chief Benneth Chinweze, PG Nteje Community on hospital bed after the attack.

Okechukwu who blamed the ugly development on some natives involved in land grabbing activities.

He further disclosed that the community has about four army checkpoints which some privileged individuals take undue advantage to harass the residents.

Chief Benneth Chinweze, the acting President General of Nteje who spoke to journalists from hospital bed in Awka, said he had harrowing experience in the hands of the security men on June 16.

“I was driving when suddenly some persons who all covered their faces double crossed my vehicle and ordered me out of my vehicle.

“They forced me into their Hilux truck, tie my legs and hands and blindfolded me before they began to give me treatments like a common criminal.
“This incident took place on Thursday June 16, but it was on Friday June 17, that I regained consciousness in a hospital.

“As you can see, I cannot raise my two hands up or use them to eat and bathe, I am just helpless here as you can see”, he said.

Chinweze who doubles as the regent of Nteje Community added that he suspected chief Mike Nwakalor as the brain behind the attack.
”Before I lost consciousness, the people beating me kept saying, you always insult Chief Mike Nwakalor and if you don’t respect yourself, we will teach you bitter lesson”, he said.
When contacted, Chief Mike Nwakalor said he was not involved in the problem which occurred in Nteje on June 16 and do not have hand in land grabbing activities in Nteje.
“As a community leader, I heard want happened and upon investigation I was told that Chief Chinweze had a petition against him and when security operatives came for him, he tried to evade arrest.
“I further gathered that those who got gun shots blocked security operatives and in the exchange of gun fire some of them got injured”, he said.
Nwakalor, however, explained that he was also not involved in any land dispute with any person in Nteje, saying, ” I have 200 plots of land between Nteje Park and Umunya and the property is not in dispute because I have my certificate of occupancy”.

Reacting, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Anambra State said that the command was not aware of the matter which occurred in Nteje on June 16.
He rather urged people of Nteje who are affected in the matter to come up with information that could help police in nipping the matter in the bud”, he said.

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