Corpse ‘leads protest over killing, land grabbing’ in Anambra community

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Some youth of Nawfia community, Njikoka local government area of Anambra have protested over alleged land encroachment and the death of Mr Chukwudi Ejikeme, a 40-year-old tricycle driver.

The protesters, who blocked the Nawfia axis of the Enugu-Onistha old road for hours, with corpse of the deceased, alleged that late Ejikeme died from injury he sustained on his right eye after an attack from armed youth suspected to be local vigilante.

It was learnt that on January 7, 2022, the deceased among other members of the community who returned home for the Yuletide visited a disputed communal land at an area called Uruoji where “illegal” sand excavations were taking place.

It was also gathered that during the on-sight visit, attack was launched on them by armed men and late Ejikeme and about six other persons sustained various degrees of cuts on the upper eye lids, head, neck, arms and back.

As a result, the angry protesters brought out corpse of the deceased, on Wednesday, setup bonfires and others on expressway, delaying vehicular movements for hours, in order to register their grievances.

Addressing newsmen, one of the protesters, Engr. Chibuzo Onwujekwe, said they were angry because a senior lawyer from the community, who hijacked their leadership, was instrumental to the attack which eventually claimed the life of Ejikeme.

When contacted, the traditional ruler of Nawfia, Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo, also observed that crisis erupted in the community when a certain lawyer from the community encroached into other people’s lands, thereby infuriating the youth.

Nwankwo, who has appealed to the youth to be calm and law abiding, reminded his subjects that the Land Use Act 1978 entrusted the custody of all communal land on the traditional ruler of every community, wondering also why “some people are trying to take over the communal land in a commando form, as if he owns the communal land.”

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