Youths numbering around 200 from Nteje community in Oyi local government area of Anambra state staged a peaceful protest on Saturday to disassociate themselves from allegations of being labeled as members of the Eastern Security Network, a branch of the proscribed indigenous people of Biafra.
The youths converged on the Nigeria Police Division Headquarters at Nteje from where they marched with banners and placards across the Onitsha/Enugu highway to the Awkuzu junction before ending at Amaokpo , Orukabi village square, Ifite Nteje.
Speaking to reporters, the youth leader of the community, Chinedu Okechukwu, confirmed that they had organized the protest to dissociate themselves from frivolous allegations that the Nteje youths were members of the ESN.
Okechukwu said a community faction sent a petition to security agencies calling them members of the ESN, a situation that prompted the army to invade the community and start firing indiscriminately, killing and injuring them. so some of them.
He said: “A faction of our community called us members of the ESN in a petition they sent to the security agencies.
“Acting on this frivolous petition, DSS agents and some army personnel came to our house on June 16, 2022 and during the operation shot people and brutalized our President General.
“To date, two of these people, Oluebube Anukwu and Chinazaekpere Areh, who were shot and injured, have died and others are still in critical condition in hospitals.”
Okechukwu revealed that land grabbing was at the center of the dispute rocking the community.
He therefore called on Governor Chukwuma Soludo to intervene urgently in this matter.
“Many of us no longer sleep in our homes because some people illegally hire security guards to harass and intimidate others to trick buyers into selling land belonging to others.
“We even understood that some of the land grabbers have now brought in bulldozers and are clearing land belonging to others because the atmosphere has been tense since the army invaded the community on June 16,” said- he added.
Addressing the youths in the village square of Amaokpo Orukabi, Ifite Nteje, a senior police officer, who preferred anonymity, praised the youths for their attention to embracing peace in the community.
“The police have joined you in this peaceful march to send the signal that we want peaceful coexistence between the different warring groups in Nteje.
“Young people everywhere are agents of peace and development, but it has been the opposite here for almost 10 years.
“People fought, and some were killed, maimed and property worth millions of naira was destroyed, all for the purpose of one group exercising dominance over another,” he said. -he declares.
The senior police officer added that he had decided that the village square of Amaokpo Orukabi, Ifite Nteje, would be used as a place for the addy so that God and the ancestors of the community could judge those who cause the crisis. .
“It is unfortunate that Anambra State International Passenger/Cargo Airport Umueri’s proximity to your community rather than being a blessing has become an issue.
“Stop this bloodshed, emulate the Aguleri and Umueri and make peace so that sustainable development will be recorded in your community,” he said.