Scores of persons from Umuobam community, Ojobi Umunya, Oyi local government area of Anambra state on Tuesday narrowly escaped being lynched by some group of persons alleged to be invaders to their land.
The victims who claimed to be rightful owners of the land located at Nkwelle junction were in the area for a peaceful protest against the intruders when they were attacked.
The journalists who were invited to cover the protest also escaped by whiskers, while their cameras were nearly confiscated during the attack.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the incident, Chairman of the community, Augustine Onalue, expressed surprise over the attack, describing it as unexpected.
He said the government had three months ago, through the Boundary Commission, ordered that nobody should venture into the land.
He said, “We went to Onyenekwu land which rightfully belong to us and which the government ordered that nobody should enter.
“When we got there, we saw some people working there and we demanded to know on whose instructions they were engaged.
“Suddenly, they started fighting us, shooting us with guns and attacking us with all kinds of weapons. They beat us ruthlessly and injured many of us.
“We seek government intervention because that land was not officially allocated to them. They entered that land through a kangaroo way.
“The land is more than eight hectares and it’s just a contractor who is busy developing the place and selling structures at different rates, N5million, N3million per shop, all for his personal enterprise.
“The speed at which they are building is amazing. Every day you come here you see work going on. They even work in the night and on Sundays.
“We don’t know them that’s why we were enquiring from them. But instead of answering us, they started attacking us.”
Onalue said they have explored all necessary options including writing to the state governor, Boundary Commission and the Police, but regretted that work had continued in the land unabated.
One of the victims, Menankiti Udegbunam who sustained machete cuts, warned that it was high time the government put a stop to the impunity being perpetrated against the community.
“We were on a peaceful protest to the land to attract the attention of the government, the people of the state and Nigeria in general,” he stated.