By Nwabueze Okonkwo
Tension rose in Onitsha, Anambra State, yesterday, as members of Sand Dealers Association staged a protest against officers and men of the Nigerian Navy, Onitsha Naval base, for what they termed a transferred aggression against their members at the River Niger Creek, Onitsha, Anambra State.
The protesters, numbering over 50, gathered at their Ukwu Akpu operational base at Harbour Industrial Layout, along the River Niger Creek, Onitsha, carrying placards with inscriptions like, “Navy, we are not criminals, stop harassing us”, “We pay our royalties to the Federal Government”, “Stop attacking our members”.
The state Vice Chairman of the sand dealers, Comrade Ikechukwu Obidimma, alleged that men of the navy from the Onitsha Naval Base, on Tuesday morning, invaded the River Niger Creeks where they dredge sands for sale and unleashed mayhem on members.
The Commander of Onitsha Naval Base, NIN Sata-Owugha, said, yesterday,that he had no issue with sand dealers but with tipper drivers whose member, he said, knocked down one of his officers, saying the issue had been resolved and their seized tippers released.