*Pulled Down over 65 Homes
* Renders over 5, 000 Homeless
Ezza Nkomoru Onugba-Nike in Enugu East Council Area of Enugu State, Community leader, Chief Tobias Otuboh yesterday visited Onitsha, AnambraState with appeal to his people to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands concerning the demolishing of over sixty-five buildings by the erstwhile minister of Power and Steal, Professor Nnaji.
It would be recalled that the people of Ezza Nkomoru Onugba-Nike in Enugu East Council Area of Enugu State currently homeless has called on Enugu State Government, corporate bodies, organizations and philanthropists to as a matter of urgency come to their aid.
Professor Nnaji, according to the community, had allegedly used earth rolling machine and dozens of hoodlums, including policemen to pull down scores of residential buildings in the age long neglected village, an action they described as “arson and man inhumanity to man”.
During the visit of some Journalists to the remote, poor, and neglected community, which had existed for over 100 years without any government presence, especially motorable roads, pipe borne water, electricity, and health facility observed that the people who are predominantly peasant farmers are now living like refuges in their father land.
Narrating their ordeal to our correspondent in an interview in his palace, community, Chief Tobias Otuboh, who couldn’t hide his emotion, said the entire community “is yet to recover from the shock of the man made disaster” allegedly inflicted on them last Friday, 14th February 2014 by the erstwhile minister. Professor Nnaji hails from a neighbouring community, Oruku, in Nkanu East Council Area of the State.
According to the Royal father, a retired Superintendent of police (DSP), who bowed out of the force in 2011, “we have lived in this community for more than one hundred years without any problem with any body or group”
“But surprisingly, last Friday I was in my house when one of our brothers, David Uzo, a pastor, ran to me shouting, weeping, asking me to come and see how some men accompanied by policemen came into the community with tractors and started pulling down peoples housing as well as looting their properties”.
“Immediately, I did not waste any time, I rushed down to the place where the demolition was taking place, on getting there, I saw the tractor actually pulling down peoples houses, including that of those who were not around, I was shocked”
Chief Otuboh, said “all efforts to stop the tractor operator from continuing with the inhuman act hit brick wall, as those supervising the demolition exercise refused to talk or discuss with him.
The community leader added that apart from one of the invaders who told him not to disturb them because their action is backed by a court order, the other ones disregarded him including the policemen that accompanied them.
He however, wondered how someone, no matter how highly placed in the society, could embark on such unholy and wicked act without any notice or explanation to the community.
Onitsha and Nnewi Chairmen of the community Mr. Stephan Nwezzama and Mr. Hyacinth Nwoke respectively also appealed to their members, especially youths of the community to remain calm and resist every attempt of taking laws into their hands, as they awaits state government’s reaction even as they called on Governor Sullivan Chime, to as a matter of urgency wade into the ugly development now making life unbearable for his people.
He also appealed to the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA, to come to their assistance, saying the situation has thrown the entire community into pandemonium and perpetual hardship. However, investigation by this reporter revealed that the ex- minister of power has acquired parts of the community land which he intends using for certain structures in no distant time.
When contacted through his GSM line, the one time minister denied the allegation, stating that he never bought any land in the neglected community let alone moving earth rolling machines to demolish peoples’ homes.
But proofing Prof. Nnaji wrong, the traditional ruler and the Vice President of Onuogba Nike community, His Royal Highness, Igwe Benedict Okonweze and Emmanuel Uboshi respectively when reached, said they learnt of the demolition and contacts were made only to discover that Prof. Nnaji was behind the matter. “He told us that he bought the land from the family of late Hyacinth Alinta, the man the community claimed they sold the land to within the period they took Ezza Nkomoru Onugba-Nike to court over the disputed land” They concluded.