By Izunna Okafor, Awka
The Traditional Ruler of Nimo Community in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, H.R.H. Owelle Max Ike Oliobi, has said his life is in danger, as some hoodlums in his community are allegedly plotting to take him off over ongoing land issues in the community.
It would be recalled that crisis have been raging in Nimo community for days now, which culminated to the deployment of platoons of joint security forces to forestall a planned protest by the youths of the community.
It was alleged that some stakeholders in the community are conniving and selling off some lands that are collectively owned by the natives, to the tunes of hundreds of millions of naira, which the youths are kicking against, on the ground that it is there general inheritance that are being sold out, while the money is allegedly not being used for anything tangible or beneficial to the community. The leadership of the community has also been indicted in the said sales of the community heirloom.
Speaking on the development, the Traditional Ruler, Igwe Oliobi said some “hoodlums“ in the community sent assassins to his palace to kill him, but got disappointed when the said hired killers spared his life and attested that the he was an upright man. He said the assassins gave the attestation while making confession, during which they also revealed that they were asked to take away his life over allegation of land grabbing.
The monarch, who also spoke on the activities of the community youths and the forestalled protests, said the they were misguided, adding that a certain lawyer who was power drunk was misleading them.
According to him, the community had unanimously reached an agreement on what to do with the said land years ago, even before he was crowned the king of the community.
He said, “It was not a decision made by me, the Owelle Nimo or the Onuowu rather, the decision was taken at a general meeting at our community square called Egwe-Egwe Nimo and whatever decision taken at that place is binding on every indigene of Nimo.
“The traditional ruler that I succeeded discussed over this particular land at Egwe-Egwe and they set up a committee and thereafter my predecessor died and the committee became moribund. Already, the Chairman of that committee was Barrister Peter Afuba (SAN). So, when I came on board, they came up with the same decision during their handover to me.
“In that new Obodo-Oma Nimo Estate, we have high density, medium, lower densities and executive plots.
“The agreement at Egwe-Egwe was that we should not sell to outsiders at present and the ones that we are going to sell to outsiders should be the industrial plots because you can’t develop a community without investors from outside.
“For the industrial plots, we considered that when people buy them and build industries, 60% of the employees must be indigenes of Nimo and the financial accruals have relative impacted on our market, thereby developing our town.”
Igwe Oliobi stressed that the allegation by some disgruntled persons against leadership of the community was false, wicked and unfounded.
He said “Before you sign out any money, three people that are signatories to the cheque must append their signatures and any money realised from that estate goes to the Nimo Town Development Union (NTDU) account.
“Also, in every other meetings, Barr. Afuba gives a rundown of where they stopped and any other person involved comes and gives his own records. Now, where is this issue of embezzling communal fund come in?”
Continuing, he said, “The issue of N1.2bn or whatever they are approximating, I can’t tell you the exact figure because as the traditional ruler of the community, I don’t receive alert of payments. My only job is the oversight function.
“But these hoodlums, knowing this very well continued to be mischievous. On one occasion the sent assassins here to come and kill me in my palace because of land.”