David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Awba Ofemili in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State has called on the state government to intervene in a land tussle it has with its neighbours, Eziagu community of Enugu State.
The traditional ruler of the community, HRH Ezekwesili Maduagwuna who spoke to THISDAY through his traditional Prime Minister, Chief Anaelo Benard Nwanelo said the community has suffered in the hands of their neighbours and may not be able to resist unrest any longer, unless Obiano intervenes.
Nwanelo said the community is now at the mercy of Enugu State government as over five of their kinsmen who were arrested while working in their farms situated at the disputed land have for over a year now been in prison, awaiting trial.
“We have written to Anambra State government to come to our aid. For three years now we have been unable to farm in our land because of the dispute; we can no longer take it.
“We are a purely agrarian community, but for three years now we have been deprived of our land, but Ezeagu people are still farming on that land. They have even given a portion of it to an agricultural company to farm.
“Hunger is our greatest problem now because our able- bodied men can no longer go to farm because once you are found there, they bundle you to Enugu and lock you up, and also charge you to court in Enugu.
“This is totally embarrassing. This is Anambra State; we have no business being in Enugu court, but Anambra State government has kept quiet, leaving us at the mercy of Enugu people. What is even more worrisome is that one of our brothers is now being sponsored to fight his own community.”
He also lamented that because of the connivance of the some members of the community, Eziagu community in Enugu State has started laying claims to being the original owners of Awba Ofemili community.
“Even the palace of the Igwe, they have insisted that the palace was built on their land, and that we should start paying them rent, and Anambra State government has kept quite over this”.