Human Interest

Nteje Youths in Peaceful March, Say We’re not ESN Members

Community news

~ PG, Obika Decries killing of youth, vows that perpetrators would face law

Nteje Community youths numbering about 200 staged peaceful demonstration on Friday denouncing allegations that they are members of the proscribed Eastern Security Network (ESN).

ESN is the militant arm of the equally proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.

The youths converged at the Divisional headquarters of the Nigerian Police Force, Nteje in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra.

From there, they marched through the Onitsha/Enugu Expressway to Awkuzu junction before ending at Amaokpo, Orukabi village square, Ifite Nteje with banners and placards

Addressing the youths at Amaokpo Orukabi village square Ifite Nteje, a senior police officer who requested anonymity commended the youths for their thoughtfulness to embrace peace.

“The police joined you in this peaceful march to send the signal that we want peaceful co-existence amongst various warring groups in Nteje.

“Youths the world over are agents of peace and development, but the reverse has been the case here for close to 10 years.

“People have been fighting one another and some have been killed or maimed and property valued at millions of naira destroyed all in a bid for one group to exercise dominance over another,’’ he said.

The senior police officer added that he decided that Amaokpo Orukabi village square, Ifite Nteje, be used for convergence so that God and the ancestors of the community would stand in judgment against those causing crises.

“It is regrettable that the proximity of Anambra International Passenger/Cargo Airport, Umueri, to your community rather than being a blessing has turned to a problem.

“Stop this bloodletting, emulate Aguleri and Umuleri people and make peace so that enduring development will be recorded in your community,’’ he charged.

Some of the banners and placards read: “we want peace in Nteje;’’ “we are not ESN members, police, please beam searchlights on Nteje to uncover evil activities of land grabbers.’’

Another read: “Gov. Charles Soludo, Nteje Community need your intervention.’’

Earlier, Mr Chinedu Okechukwu, leader of Nteje community youths said they held the march to dissociate themselves from the frivolous allegations that Nteje youths are members of ESN.

“A faction in our community labelled us as members of ESN in the petition they sent to security agencies.

“Acting on this frivolous petition, some DSS and army operatives came to our place on June 16 and in the course of the operation shot some people and rough handled our president-general.

“As at today, two of the persons Oluebube Anukwu and Chinazaekpere Areh who got gunshot injuries have died with other still very critically ill in hospitals,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the president general of the community, Chief Chidiebele Obika has decried the violence in the community at the weekend, which he said led to one person.

Obika said those who held the peaceful march were irate youths who had earlier fled the community. He said on the evening of the protest which held on Friday, violence broke out in the community, leading to the death of one person.

He said those responsible for the violence which claimed the live of the youth would be fished out and made to face the wrath of the law.

He also stated that there is no such position as youth president in the community, urging all  to beware of dissidents. He said the community under his watch is on the path of peace, and only peace is acceptable.

Ifeizu

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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