From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The traditional ruler of Atani community, Ogbaru Local Government Area, Anambra State, Igwe Augustine Ngoddy, has said its traditional stool never sold or ceded any land to Fulani herders or invited the Nigerian Navy to arrest any of the youths from the community.
Igwe Ngoddy who spoke through the Palace Secretary, Austin Ezeolisa, on the heels of a recent threat issued to some monarchs in the southeast by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who threatened to deal with some monarchs who allegedly invited military personnel to arrest some youths opposing their plans to sell community land to Fulani herdsmen, the Igwe said nothing of sort happened.
The palace secretary who described the impression as ‘misinformation of the highest order” noted that at no time did the community ever contemplate giving or selling any land to Fulani herdsmen while the herders had even vacated Atani land on their own volition since the community located along river banks produces forage not edible to their cattle.
Giving a background into what actually happened, Ezeolisa noted that there was an incident between some members of the community and sand miners over the payment of royalties and road maintenance fees.
He said the town union executives waded into the matter to avoid breakdown of law and order in the community and along the line, some people were attacked while the Navy who operated a Naval base in the area picked up some people to forestall a bigger crisis.
He disclosed that the arrested persons were also released the same day within some hour’s interval while the traditional ruler as a widely travelled and exposed personality has consistently toed the path of peace and dialogue in the community.
‘Some people are bent on blackmailing the person and personality of Igwe Atani by bringing some information that is so untrue into the reality that is happening in our community.
‘Linking an altercation in the community to IPOB, Fulani herdsmen and Naval/Military personnel and allegation of selling lands or inviting soldiers to deal with opposition when such thing never happened is the height of wickedness against fellow human beings. Such scenario only happened in the imaginative realities of the peddlers of such wicked falsehood,’ he said.