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Land grabbing: Enugu youths protest against traditional ruler, ex-President General

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Residents of Owo community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State have protested against their traditional ruler, Igwe Okeke Arum, and former President General, Mr. Okeke Akpu, over alleged “land grabbing” and “high-handedness”.

Owo is the country home of the Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah.

The residents led by various youths organisations in the community stormed the streets on Tuesday, with placards calling on the state government to end the impunity of the traditional ruler and his cohorts, adding that if he was stopped now his actions might trigger a communal war in no distance time.Addressing journalists shortly after marching through the community, the President General of Owo Town Union, Prince Augustine Nnajieze, said their protest is against alleged atrocities committed by Igwe Godwin Okeke Arum.

Nnajieze accused him of turning the Community into his personal property, lamenting that the worse was that he has turned Neighbourhood Watch security to his thugs, using them to harass and intimidate anybody that spoke against his actions.

He said that Okeke Arum is not the traditional ruler of Owo community adding that he is the traditional ruler of Mburu Owo Autonomous Community, yet he is forcing himself on the entire Owo community.

“This man has committed so many atrocities in Owo Town, that he has turned the Enugu State Neighbourhood Watch security into his thugs. He uses the Neighborhood Watch to harass, intimidate and kill anybody who disagrees with him.

“The Owo Community has no traditional ruler, but he wants everybody to come and bow to him. The very moment you don’t accept to bow before him, you become an enemy.”

He alleged that the monarch sold land that belongs to Asisi village to the governor, His Excellency, Governor Peter Mbah, and pocketed the money. The land was sold to the governor for N200 million by the agreement of the whole community, but the man started spending the money, by constructing roads and other things without consulting the community.“The community does not have a traditional ruler today, because of Arum’s activities. The Asisi village is in crisis because the man has been selling land that belongs to everybody. He sold the land where we have a boundary with Ndiagu Owo. If it were not for him, we don’t have any reason to be dragging land with our brothers in Ndiagu Owo.”