Scores of women from Umunya in the Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State on Monday protested at Government House in Awka against the traditional ruler of the area, Igwe Kris Onyekwuluje, over alleged intimidation and land-grabbing.
They accused the monarch of indiscriminate arrest of their sons and husbands over the community’s land.
The protesters claimed that no fewer than five persons had been detained by police on the monarch’s instructions, while some male adults of the community had fled the area to avoid arrest.
Spokesman for the community, Obed Nweke, implored the governor to intervene and save them from further harassment by Onyekwuluje.
He said the problem started in 2015 when the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing gave the community a piece of land as compensation for their land it acquired for a project.
The protesters claimed the monarch had been selling the land.
Their address to the governor read in part, “For three weeks running, our people are been hounded, attacked, detained and unjustly victimised for daring to stop unknown trespassers and illegal land speculators from the land belonging to the community.
“We once again appeal to you, as the chief security officer of the state, to use your good offices to caution Igwe Kris Onyekwuluje.
“Direct the Commissioner of Police to order the DPO of Oyi Division to respect our dignity and freedom as citizens of Nigeria.
“Set up a commission of inquiry to investigate our allegations.”
Governor Willie Obiano, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Security Matters, Chukodi Anarah, assured the community that he would intervene in the matter.
Obiano said, “We’ll reach the monarch and get his own side of the story and ensure that justice is seen to be done on this issue.”