The people of Ugwuafor Akpugo Autonomous Community in Nkanu west local government area of Enugu state, took to the streets, protesting against the alleged abuse of power that resulted in the arrest of the National Youth Chairman of the community, Mr. Uchenna Nnamchi and Councillor representing ward 4, Hon. Gabriel Udeh who have been labelled as Unknown gunmen and kidnappers.
The protesters who chanted slogans, holding placards with messages such as “Enough is Enough”, “Igwe Idenyi Nwodo Stop causing havoc in our community” and “John ogbodo leave our community alone”, “We need our Brothers Back” matched to the Enugu state secretariat to air their displeasure at the ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs.
Expressing their dissatisfaction some of the protesters who spoke to UgamaTV described the incident as unjust and deliberate false misrepresentation of information, and called for the immediate intervention of Governor Peter Mbah.
ALSO READ: CSO Petition Police IG, Gov. Mbah over Alleged Unlawful Arrest of Ugwuafor Town Union Leaders, others.
In his speech, Mr. Emeka Nnamchi accused Igwe Idenyi of using his position to settle personal grudges against those opposing his desire to have unregulated access to the community’s funds.
“What our Igwe is doing to us is unfair, last three weeks Igwe went and arranged with police and this is not the first time, any small thing he will threaten us that the governor has given order and that government has collected our land and before you know it they arrest the youths and elders in Community. Unfortunately the last one that happened they arrested the youth leader, and sitting councillor, Gabriel Udeh and National Youth Chairman, Uchenna Nnamchi.”
“They went to the police station following the arrest of the security men who were hired to protect the community, and that was how they were arrested and tagged unknown Gunmen, how come leaders of the community have become unknown gunmen? One person has later released and the rest are still in prison and have been charged to court with any investigation.”
“Igwe Idenyi Nwodo is using his office to destroy our community, I am pleading with Governor Mbah to tell John ogbodo Nash, to leave our community alone. We are pleading with the Governor to come to our aide.” He said.
Also speaking Ikechukwu Tochukwu appealed to the government to restore peace to the community and called for immediate release of the town union leaders, noting that the intimidation is getting out of hand.
“We are calling for immediate release of our Chairman and councillor this is too much, Igwe Idenyi Nwodo enough is enough this intimidation is too much, we need peace in our community that’s all we ask for.” He pleaded
Similarly, Mr Friday John Ede appealed to Governor Mbah who he described as a peace loving governor to ensure that the detained town union leaders get justice.
” I am pleading with the Governor of Enugu state Barrister Peter Mbah to come to our rescue before things get out of hand. The Igwe of our community is really tournamenting us to the extent of arresting our two sons, Gabriel Edeh and Hon. Uchenna Nnamchi with any reason. The accusation levied against them is false and misleading, there are not unknown gunmen or kidnappers, they are leaders of our community. We went to dialogue with him on the issue but he has refused to listen to our plea, so we are appealing to Gov. Mbah to please intervene.” He said
Mr. Nwaodoh Onyedika also maintained that the arrest of the community leaders was a deliberate use of power to intimidate members of the community who have fallen out with Igwe Idenyi.
The protest is coming following petitions to the Inspection General of Police by two Civil society organizations, Civil Liberty Advocacy Project and Justice League Coalition accusing “the police of miscarriage of investigation which grossly falls short of the minimum standard of police investigation expected of a state police Command.”
Igwe Idenyi Nwodo have come under heavy attack for alleged attempt to hijack community funds, abuse of power, tyranny and high-handedness.
The two community leaders and security personnel hired by the Community to Protect her from external attacks were arrested by Anti-cult unit of Enugu State police command, and remanded in prison for alleged wielding unlicenced gun and inciting communal war.