Thursday, 15 August 2019

‘We’re ready to die defending our land’

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Residents of Odumodu in Umunya, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State have said their monarch, Igwe Kris Onyekwuluje, should be held responsible for any calamity on any of their leaders.


The people had accused the monarch of high-handedness, including land-grabbing, indiscriminate harassment, brutality and arrest of community members.

But the monarch refuted the allegations, and accused some community members, mostly from Odumodu quarters, of plotting to kill him.

He said his life had been threatened seven times by his traducers who had resorted to calumny to tarnish his “hard-earned” reputation.

But the community, through the Secretary, Odumodu Ebenabo Improvement Union, Sunday Esedo, said the monarch was being economical with the truth. They said it was the monarch who was hunting for their lives.

According to Esedo, they were ready to put their lives on the line than allow the monarch forcefully take their inheritance from them.

He said: “We’re here to address the allegations raised by the monarch that we’ve been planning to assassinate him. We want to let the whole world know that His Royal Highness is not asserting the obvious. Nobody in Odumodu has ever planned to kill him, which he knows too well.

“He moves around with security. The DSS men, the police are all in his convoy. All members of the vigilance group sleep in his palace. Personally, I’ve been receiving threat messages on plans to attack me. I want to tell the whole world that if anything happens to me or any member of the executive, the Igwe should be held accountable.

“We’re ready to die. Let him kill all of us before snatching our lands from us.”

Esedo hinted that the monarch, in 2015, made similar allegations against the community which led to the arrest of the former chairman and five of his executives.

According to him, they were at the Oyi police station on Wednesday at the instance of the DPO, but they were detained for three hours, but not before they were issued with arrest and arraignment notice.

According to him, it took the intervention of the Deputy Commissioner of Police before they were released after a protest.

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