By Tony Okafor, Awka
The traditional ruler of Nimo in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, His Royal Highness, Owelle Max Ike Oliobi, has alleged that some hoodlums in his community are playing to kill him over land issues.
He said on one occasion they sent assassins to his palace to kill him but the killers confessed that the he was an upright man, stressing that they were asked to take away his life over allegation of land grabbing.
Earlier in the week, security operatives, made up of soldiers, police and personnel of Civil Defence were in the community to stop a protest by the youth over the activities of a few rich people in the community.
The operatives who accosted the youths at Oye Nimo stopped them from marching round the community with their placards, insisting that they did not get clearance from the police to hold any protest.
But the protesters who spoke to journalists insisted that they duly received protest permit, and that the protest was against the sale of a large parcel of land in the community, known as Ana Ama.
But speaking to the our correspondent in his palace on Thursday, the monarch of the community and other leaders of Nimo said the youths were misguided, stating that a certain lawyer who was power drunk was misleading them.
The monarch said the said land was unanimously agreed upon by the community on what to do with it for years even before he was crowned the king of the community.
He said, “It was not a decision made by me, the Owelle Nimo or the Onuowu rather the decision was taken at a general meeting at our community square called Egwe-Egwe- Nimo and whatever decision taken at that place is binding on every indigene of Nimo.
“The traditional ruler that I succeeded discussed over this particular land at Egwe-Egwe and they set up a committee and thereafter my predecessor died and the committee became moribund. Already, the Chairman of that committee was Barrister Peter Afuba(SAN) so when I came on board, they came up with the same decision during their handing over to me.
“In that new Obodo- Oma Nimo estate, we have high density, medium, lower densities and executive plots.
The agreement at Egwe-Egwe was that we should not sell to outsiders at present and the ones that we are going to sell to outsiders should be the industrial plots because you can’t develop a community without investors from outside.
“For the industrial plots, we considered that when people buy them and build industries, 60% of the employees must be indigenes of Nimo and the financial accruals have relative impacted on our Our market, thereby developing our town.
The monarch said the allegation by some disgruntled persons against leadership of the community was false, wicked and unfounded, adding, “before you sign out any money, three people that are signatories to the cheque must append their signatures and any money realised from that estate goes to the Nimo Town Development Union(NTDU)account.
“Also, in every other meetings, Barr. Afuba gives a rundown of where they stopped and any other person involved comes and gives his own records. Now, where is this issue of embezzling communal fund come in?”
“The issue of N1.2bn or whatever they are approximating, I can’t tell you the exact figure because as the traditional ruler of the community, I don’t receive alert of payments. My only job is the oversight function.
“But these hoodlums, knowing this very well continued to be mischievous. On one occasion the sent assassins here to come and kill me in my palace because of land.”