Nteje Community in Oyi Council Area of Anambra State is calling on the State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo to prevail on security operatives to stop arresting and killing their people indiscriminately.
Last week, over 200 Nteje youths protested at the Police Divisional Headquarters in Nteje, to debunk allegations that they were part of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the armed branch of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
TNC correspondent gathered that the immediate past President General of the Community was picked up on the 16th of June, this year at the Navy Checkpoint at Awkuzu and bundled into a vehicle by the unidentified military operatives.
The military operatives were said to have immediately proceeded to Nteje Community where they were alleged to have arrested some other persons and shot dead two others including one Oluebube Anukwu and Chinazaekpere Areh.
Further investigations revealed that a certain group in the community, had in a petition filed to the security agencies, tagged an opposing faction members of ESN
In response to the unfounded petition, it was gathered that security men, suspected to be DSS agents and a few soldiers invaded the community, resulting in the killings and arrests.
When our correspondent spoke to the acting President General of the Community, Chief Chidiebere Obika, he explained that no member of ESN or IPOB is haboured in the community, noting that the petition was a fall-out from the sale of some community lands by the said youths who are parading themselves as youth leaders.
“It is a case land grabbing.
“We do not have any youth leader in Nteje because the problem we are having, especially Ifite Nteje, is that of rival youth groups.
“Many Nteje sons have as a result of this issue, been branded ESN members and abducted randomly and taken to unknown places.
“One of them is our former PG, Chief BC Nweze who is recuperating now in a hospital.
“So what we are saying is that there is no youth leader in Nteje because the town union which I head and the state government do not recognize any youth leader,” he insisted.
Chief Obika noted that the two men killed are neither IPOB nor ESN members and called on military operatives coming to arrest people in the community, to let the town leadership know their operations, to enable it assist them spot and arrest any hoodlum in the community.
He maintained that the community is a peaceful one and is committed to supporting government’s efforts to root out criminal elements from the state.
“All of us know how these criminals operate and anywhere they are, is always under siege but Nteje is not under siege.
“Nteje has a local government headquarters and it has not been attacked.
“Nteje has a police headquarters and it has not been attacked.
“We have our people doing traditional marriages and white weddings and nobody has attacked anyone.
“So Nteje is not harbouring any of these people they are using because of them to invade our communities.
“We are pleading to the Anambra State Government and the State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, as well as the security agencies to help bring back peace to our community.
“We, as a recognized caretaker committee, are ready to work with the government to fish out criminal elements that are fomenting trouble in the communities,” he assured.