…Urges Gov. Obiano to call youths to order
From MAGNUS EZE
The peace in Nanka, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State has become fragile.
Currently, the community appears to be sitting on a keg of gunpower over some constitutional issues bordering on the traditional stool and town union leadership.
The crisis has sent shivers down the spine of the community leader, Emmanuel Obiekunie, who is the chairman, Amakor Njikoka Development Union, making him to run to Abuja to sue for peace.
Obiekunie who was recently in Abuja to seek police intervention in security threat to his community spoke to Daily Sun. Excerpts:
As a community leader, what brought you to Abuja?
I am here in Abuja because of the problem in my community; there is crisis. Some group of hoodlums who call themselves youths are causing problem in the community; threatening my life and the lives of people in my community. That is why I came here to complain to the national security agencies, particularly the Inspector General of Police. I am sure that some people in Nanka are fuelling problem in the community because of some constitutional issue over the traditional stool and town union leadership. But I am not fighting for the throne (Igwe); I am not also interested on who becomes the Igwe. All I know is that Nanka community has a way of doing things. Whoever they bring out to be the next Igwe, I will support that person. I am not fighting for the throne and I do not have interest in their political system, I am not a politician. I am just a community leader.
What is the link between the crisis caused by the hoodlums and the vacant traditional stool in Nanka?
It started with the formation of Nanka Youth Association called Uto Nanka by some persons who are now outlaws, even when the Anambra State government prohibits youth groups everywhere in the state. These boys claim to be youths; however, I know them because we are all from Nanka. They want to forcefully make me part of them, but I am not interested and wouldn’t be part of them because I do not support evil. I have even written a petition to the Commissioner of Police in Anambra State on how they attacked me on May 9, during a village meeting where we were discussing their criminal activities. The boys have turned Nanka to a lawless place; they rob land owners of 10 per cent of whatever they sell their lands. The boys also maltreat innocent people, rape women and indulge in other abominable activities. Though a youth, I am the chairman of my village so the boys are forcing me to be part of them and I have told them that I can’t be part of evil. On the 27th of January, they went to the urban market being developed by the local government and chased the workers away, beating up the contractor. While this was happening; I went to them as a community leader who actually knows the boys to make peace and rescue the situation in my community. Because people saw me admonishing the youth at the urban market; certain persons are now twisting it that I am the leader of the boys and the one sponsoring them. Some politicians and money bags in Nanka for selfish reasons are taking advantage of the vacant traditional stool to use the boys to foment trouble in Nanka. Now, their target is to make me a scapegoat, but my God will disgrace all of them.
What will you want the governor of Anambra to do?
When the first incident occurred, I first reported to the Commissioner of Police Anambra State in early May and nothing has been done. The boys are actually boasting that no police in Anambra State can stop their actions or call them to order. I also wrote a petition to the state government and nothing was done. So, following serious threat to my life because of my moves against their activities, I ran to Abuja on May 20th and made another petition to the DIG FCIID who sent the Federal SARS to go and arrest the boys in Anambra. However, when the men from Abuja got to the State Command, the Commissioner of Police refused to approve their operation instead he advised them to go back to Abuja that he won’t allow them risk their lives. He said that Nanka was too dangerous. The SARS went back to Abuja without arresting the boys and bringing them to justice. I waited for weeks then went to the Commissioner of Police myself, reminded him about the first petition I wrote and he asked me what I wanted him to do. I told him that I wanted the boys to be called to order and to tell the Federal Government why they are threatening my life and my community. Several people in the community have gone on exile. The CP said I should exercise some patience that they have plans, but nothing was done after more than two weeks then I came back to Abuja and petitioned the Inspector General of Police on the same matter. I want Governor Willie Obiano to intervene in the security situation in Nanka. My petition is not about the traditional stool; that is quite different from the crisis happening in Nanka. My petition is that some people under the guise of Uto Nanka youth group are wreaking havoc everywhere; they have turned my village to kidnappers’ den. The only public primary school in Amakor is almost shut down because that is their camp where they dump their victims, torture and extort money from them. They even order teachers and pupils out of classroom; beat them up; smoke Indian hemp without control there.
What has the Nanka town union done about this?
Nanka as a mother union has not done anything. The day the incident occurred I called the President General and told him what happened in my community and he said I should call the police. I asked him to help me call the police, but he said he couldn’t do anything that he is in Lagos. I called the police, SARS from Ekwulobia. It’s surprising that from 9th May till now, the President General has done nothing. My concern is that of the seven villages that make up Nanka, my village, Amakor is under siege because the hoodlums use it as their base for committing atrocities. But, I feel that the President General may have been intimidated by the boys. I think he is scared. And I think he too is part of the conspiracy to rope me into the atrocities of the criminally-minded Uto Nanka; saying that I pray for them. But I can’t be part of a notorious gang that invaded our meeting and scattered over 500 people including the elderly and kidnapped me as the chairman of the village. They took me to their den threatening to kill me. They tied me to a stake and took cash of N2.1 million from me; N1.7 million of it belonged to our development union. They forced me to write two cheques amounting to N250,000 which they cashed and also forcefully took my 406.