The people of Umu-
Nwaenile, Edegelem, Igbo- Etche in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State have cried out against an alleged continued seige on the community by the military.
They accused the military of incessant harassment and intimidation in an attempt to forcefully take over their ancestral land.
The Community Development Committee Chairman of the area, Hezekiah Wigwe during a peaceful protest in the community last weekend stated that the people of Umu-Nwaenile would resist all attempts by the military to take over” their land under any guise.
Wigwe stated that already, the matter is before the National Assembly through a petition done by the community.
According to him, ‘‘ prior to this protest, we had gone to the House of Representatives through our leader, Hon. Jerome Amadi.
He also said litigations have been instituted against the military, saying, we have also gone to a competent demanding our right .
This is not a right , it is our inheritance and we will mobilise every means within our reach to get our land back from the military.’’
Wigwe noted that there is currently an uncertainty occasioned by fear of what the military may do to the hapless residents of the community, insisting that they will not leave their ancestral land to the military.
Another leader in the community , Linus Okere noted that the military had unleashed violence against the people, by flogging, beating, maiming and vandalising the people and structures, respectively.
He emphasised: ” this land belongs to us and if the army wants it, all it takes is simple negotiation with us and not by beating us and destroying our properties, we have nothing to fight the military, we are defenceless.’’
Attempts to get the military authorities to comment on the matter proved unsuccessful as they maintained a ‘’ no comment’’ stance.