The traditional ruler of Nimo in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, Owelle Max Oliobi has given why soldiers and other security operatives were invited to the community.
According to Oliobi, the security operatives were invited to stop planned violent protest in his domain and avert the breakdown of law and order.
Reports have it that some youths in the community had weekend attempted to protest in the area over alleged illegal sale of their communal land for over N900 million without rendering proper account.
The protest was, however, stopped by the soldiers who stormed the Oye Nimo market as the protesters were preparing to hit the roads with their placards.
Igwe Oliobi, while reacting to the development, said lives and property would have been lost in the community if the security operatives had not stepped in.
The Monarch said: “I heard that some youths wanted to protest and while I acknowledge that they have the right to do so, they must follow due process so as not to cause mayhem in the community.
“Again, I looked at the people behind the protest and observed that they are not serious people in my domain. If they are serious people, they would have known that their allegations were unfounded as everything concerning the land was usually discussed at the general assembly before any action is taken.
“Going by what is on ground in Nimo, it is not possible for anyone, not even the Igwe, to sell communal land and pocket the money. Our people are very much enlightened such that nobody can swindle them.”
The monarch recalled that over 17 years ago, the people of Nimo unanimously agreed to develop a new layout in its communal land which, according to him, is today the largest estate in Anambra State, adding that the decision was taken during the general assembly of Nimo.
He added: “A committee headed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mr. Peter Afuba was set up and when I mounted the throne, the committee briefed me on the earlier decision. We appointed two people from each of the four quarters of Nimo and it is the committee that is facilitating the ongoing construction work.
“All the money generated in the sale of the land in the estate is paid into the Nimo Town Development Union, NTDU, account and the committee regularly gives a rundown of the expenditure.
” As the Owelle, I don’t receive the alert, but I know that enormous financial resources had been put into the project.
“The committee has also been paying compensation for economic crops destroyed in the course of the development of the estate”.