By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
Nnewi—Anambra State Police Command has directed any indigene of Oba community, who has any grievance over alleged non-payment of compensation for land acquired by the state government for building Anambra International Market, to go to court.
Ezegbe community in Umumpuma Oba, last week protested non-payment of compensation for their land by the state government.
The community is said to be one of the kindreds whose lands were taken by the state government under the then Chinwoke Mbadinuju’s administration to build the market.
Elders and youths of the community are threatening that they will not allow construction work to continue at the project site, having repeatedly embarked on peaceful demonstration for the payment of the compensation and other entitlements, without allegedly being paid by the Anambra State government and the contractor financier, Burkham Nigerian Limited.
The community was also irked by the involvement of another company which they accused of intimidating and harassing residents with security agents and making payment of their compensation and other entitlements difficult.
The manager of the company however, denied the allegations.
Chairman of the Ezegbe community, Evangelist Benson Anajemba and a member of Ezegbe Community Elders Council, Ogbuefi Daniel Ibeakuzie, alleged that “the state government connived with Burkham and forcefully took our land without payment of compensation to land owners since 2002.”
However, the Anambra State Police Command through the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations on behalf of the State Commissioner, Musdafa Dandaura in a meeting with all the stakeholders appealed to them to “take up the matter in a law court without posing any threat to public peace.”