By Tony Edike
ENUGU—Hundreds of placard carrying natives of Ogonogo Eji Ndiagu and Ndiuno Akpugo Autonomous Community last weekend stormed Government House, Enugu, protesting the forceful take over of their lands by a traditional ruler in the area.
The villagers, who had earlier marched to the Ministries of Land and Chieftaincy Matters, called on the state government to call the royal father to order to avoid breakdown of law and order in the community.
The traditional ruler, Igwe John Ideyi Nwodo, who quickly reacted to the protest, however, dismissed his subjects’ claims, insisting that the land belonged to his immediate Ugwuafor community which he said had agreed to use it for an estate.
Briefing newsmen during the protest, spokesman of the comminity, Chief Felix Okafor, noted that the land in question was a family land owned by Umueji Igwe Onyi family of Ogonogo Eji Ndiagu and Ndiuno but currently located in Ugwuafor, following the carving out of that autonomous community.
Said he: “We are protesting against the traditional ruler of Ugwuafor community for using government apparatus to take our land without our consent.
”He went to the Ministry of Lands and obtained plans for the estate which he named Ugwuafor Unity estate and there is an on-going survey of the area in question.
”Akpugo as a clan has no community land what we have are family lands and we inherited this from our fore fathers; its about 3000 acres.
”We are asking government to stop him to avoid any clash and possible blood bath because the youths are not happy with the development.”