Some members of Umualum village, Enugu-Agu Achi, Mba-ogu kingdom, Oji River Local Government Area, have cried out to the Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to save them from alleged police harassment and arrest for no offense
The people equally appeal to the Governor to stop a former Commissioner in the state, Dr. Eric Oluedo, who represents the village in Nze-in-council, to cease from using police to harass them.
In a peaceful demonstration, the people say they now live in fear as no one knows who is next in line to be arrested.
The angry protesters carried placards with inscriptions: “All We Need is Democratic Umunna,” “We Say No to the Tyranny of Dr. Eric Oluedo,” and “Please Gov. Ugwuanyi Rescue Us,” among others.
Umualum, is one of the 14 villages that make up Enugu-agu, Achi, Community, Mba-ogu kingdom, Oji River Local Government Area.
Umualum village in the recent past, had lived together in peace untill recently, when some members of the village decided to organize a crusade to pray against what they described as the backwardness in the village.
One of the protesters, Mr. Sunday Umeh, said the only crime he commited was that he supported a prayer crusade in the village, to seek divine intervention, especially in why their youths were not making progress.
Mr. Umeh, alleged that personnel of Oji River Area Command, Nigeria Police Force, were being used to terrorise them.
“They took me last time and I was bailed with N35,000.00, they’re planning to pick me again, please I don’t have money to continue to bail myself, the Commissioner of Police should help us,” he cried out.
The Youth Leader of the village, Mr. Kingsley Oluedo, told Radio Nigeria that two persons had been arrested, while five others had been invited by the police.
He called on Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to stop Dr. Eric Oluedo from using the police to harass them for seeking solution to their problems.
Another youth, Mr. Chiagoziem Udegbunnam, alleged that their youths were being locked up almost on daily basis on the order of Dr. Eric Oluedo.
“I know they will come after me, just know that if you didn’t see me after this protest, just they’ve picked me.
“We now take refuge in neighbouring communities, as no one was sure who was next to be locked up in the police cell,” Mr. Udegbunnam said.
A mother and Catechist, Assumption Catholic outstation, Mrs. Victoria Nwankwo, claimed that the only communal palm plantation in the village, which was only source of revenue generation for the village was converted to personal property by Dr. Oluedo.
“I can authoritatively tell you that this development has further worsen the hardship of the people, especially those of us living in the village,” Mrs. Nwankwo stated.
When contacted, Dr. Eric Oluedo, denied the allegations, stressing that he was a known peace maker as well as an international chartered mediator and arbitrator of peace.
Dr. Oluedo, said that the town hall complex which, he was accused of locking, was the decision of the community and the security agents to check activities of those who used the building to commit crimes and take hard drugs.
“It is the decision approved by His Royal Majesty, Igwe Godwin Madu, that every hall in Umumba, Mbaogu kingdom should be under lock, if any meeting is being held, the people will collect keys from the Chairman, V-Chairman or the secretary.
“Also, I have for long hands-off the palm plantation I was being accused of taking, my family said no, we can’t own this kind of property, they rejected it and I should transfer it back & I’ve done that and at no time did I personally benefited a kobo from it. They can make inquiring from the present village executives,” Dr. Oluedo said.
He said that he had before now contributed greatly to the development of his village and impacted greatly on lives of most of his village member, adding: “These falsehood and unfounded allegations are done to blackmail him,” he cried out.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Enugu State Command, Mr. Daniel Ndukwe, said the police would investigate the allegation.