Fred Itua, Abuja
Two families in Enugu State, Obangene and Anekeode in Ibagwa Nike autonomous community, have accused their traditional ruler, Igwe Emmanuel Ugwu of trying to disposes them of their ancestral lands they inherited from their fathers.
They have also accused him of plans to silence them, claiming that they have been under siege and have also been labeled criminals by the traditional ruler for insisting that the right thing must be done.
In a press statement signed by Ngwu Ikenna William and Robert Ugwu Joseph on behalf of the two families, the families said despite their stiff opposition, Igwe Ugwu has gone ahead to balkanise their ancestral lands with impunity.
The jointly signed press statement reads: “In fact and apparently determined to deny our families of our age long ownership and possession of our lands, the expropriators despite our stiff opposition went ahead and started balkanising our family lands with impunity.
“The Igwe, has since, been illegally disposing off and alienating our lands with reckless abandon, arm twisting us and using the security agents to intimidate and harass members of the families, once questioned.
“We are convinced that after this press statement, Igwe Emmanuel Ugwu with his security collaborators will swoop and fly down on us to deal with us in order to take our inheritance.
“The Igwe is so determined to accomplish his goals that he has concocted and fabricated stories to smear our character. He has tagged us kidnappers, robbers and killers and has begun peddling a campaign to say that we are promoting local wars against the Fulani residents in Ibagwa Nike, which is totally unimaginable and untrue.
“We have refused to further remain quiet in the face of the unmerited despotism, tyranny and oppression meted out by Igwe Emmanuel Ugwu who is suppose to be the custodian and protector of the interests of his people.
“We are also aware that this is our last opportunity to reach to the world for salvation. With a voice of desperation we cry out to say that, Our lives are in danger. We cannot sleep with our two eyes closed, in our town, because our lives are in jeopardy.
“We, therefore, seize this opportunity to call for the attention and timely intervention of the Presidency, the National Assembly, the National Security Council, the National Security Adviser, the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Police Service Commission, the Department of State Security, the Commissioner of Police Enugu State, the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 9, the Inspector General of Police and all the security apparatus in Nigeria to come to our aid before it becomes late.”
However, the accused traditional ruler, Ugwu, has denied the claims made by the two families. He said what he’s accused of are untrue, insisting that he has no problem with any member of his community.
In a chat with Sunday Sun, he said: “I don’t know these families and I don’t have anything to say about what they’re alleging. I don’t know anything. But I know that what they’re alleging isn’t true. I don’t have any problem with anybody in my community.