From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Residents of Egwuatu Estate, Abata Nsugbe, Anambra State are presently homeless while others have gone into hiding for safety of their lives following the invasion of the area by land speculators who allegedly attacked them with dangerous weapons and destroyed their properties.
The Chairman of Egwuatu Estate Landlords Association, Emeka Ojukwu, who spoke from his hideout yesterday said a prominent Onitsha Chief (names withheld) invaded their area with earth moving equipments and over 30 thugs with dangerous weapons and destroyed their security post before moving into properties attacking residents and pulling down structures.
Ojukwu disclosed that landlords of the area acquired plots of land in the area over 15 years ago from the Egwuatu family and noted that the properties have never been in dispute until the speculators invaded the area and made life unbearable for the residents.
He said the same thugs who invaded the area had laid a siege on his compound, threatened his life and vowed to deal with other members of the association hence they had to run for their lives and also reported the matter to the police authorities.
‘Our wives and children are traumatized presently because of these invaders. They came with a bulldozer with which they damaged farmlands, building materials and various plots of land belonging to our members. They attack anybody on sight with weapons and we are no more safe,’ he stated.
Secretary of the Landlords Association Nduka Nwanolue while appealing for immediate government intervention in their plight said their invaders have unleashed attack on both construction workers in different building sites and also coveted various building materials in the sites.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ikenga Tochi, who confirmed the development said preliminary investigation revealed that it was a case of land encroachment and boundary dispute. He said police only waded into the matter to forestall crisis while some people have been invited for questioning. He advised parties to maintain peace and explore legal options where necessary.