Abia community orders non-indigenes out, denies kidnap charges, others
The meeting exonerated Ukwa Ngwa indigenes from recent kidnapping for ransom and armed robbery spree in Abia State.
Meanwhile, three suspected members of a notorious kidnap gang that has been terrorising Aguata Council, Anambra State have been arrested while a manhunt is on for other members of the group.
Chairman, Oko Community Vigilante, Lazarus Okafor, disclosed this yesterday at his Oko Town Hall office.
The suspected kidnappers are Messrs Chidi and Chinedu Anyanwu, (from Enugu State) and Madubem AmanGod Jnr from Oko.
Also, Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Philemon Leha, has assured citizens, especially indigenes of the state planning to visit home for the Christmas and New Year celebrations, of their security.
Leha, who briefed reporters on the command’s efforts and success in crime-fighting ahead the Yuletide, said that his men were on top of the situation close surveillance on criminal elements in the state.
He urged residents to report any suspicious movement to the police, promising to treat such information with dispatch and utmost confidentiality
In a seven-page address read out by the Summit Secretary, Moses Ogbonna, non-Ukwa Ngwa resident in the area were accused of being responsible for the acts of kidnapping and robbery in the state.
Ogbonna said these criminal elements only used Ukwa Ngwa land as base and pay peanuts to indigenes from the proceeds of their crimes.
At the meeting were Eze Enweremadu, Eze Augustine Onwukwe of Ibeme, Eze Ralph Egbogu of Uhie and Eze Paul Okpanku of Mbutu Amairinisii.
Also at the event was Chief John Onwukwe who introduced himself as the Managing Director of the the Aba-based International Equitable Association Ltd (IEA) and Deputy Chairman, Isiala Ngwa North Council, Chinedu Ugoala.
Eze Enweremadu commended the state Police Commissioner, Jonathan Johnson and Governor Theodore Orji for their efforts against robbery, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the state.
He also accused non-Ukwa Ngwa of setting up “kidnapping factories” in his domain and co-opting his people into the crime.
He argued that if his people were actually engaged in the act and reaping from it, it would have reflected on the community’s fortunes.
In the address titled ” Enough Is Enough,” the Summit observed that several unlawful activities carried out in Ukwa Ngwa land, especially in Aba, were from time immemorial blamed on the Ngwa people.
The summit listed some these unlawful activities to for which Ukwa Ngwa people were wrongly blamed to include the 1929 Aba Women Riot, the stoning of a helicopter used by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo during his Aba campaign in 1984, the rejection of the former Biafran leader, Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s to visit Aba when he returned to Nigeria from exile and the choice of Aba by for the Mr. Ralph Uwazurike to launch his MASSOB movement to resurrect the Biafra struggle.
According to the summit, “at the peak of armed robbery outbreak, Ngwa land was also chosen as the operational field. Most of the people caught were from our neighboring communities and other states who carried out their operations in Ngwaland just to further tarnish and dampen the image of the Ngwa person
“Kidnapping also found thriving climate in the Ngwa zone so much so that the innocence of average Ngwa person is taken with a pinch of salt even though it is common knowledge that the kingpins who sponsor the trade are rich non-Ngwa indigenes who savor the juice of the apple in their secret places and leave the teeth of our youths sour in the public.”
Insisting that enough was enough, the Summit asked the non-Ngwa criminal elements resident in the area to go elsewhere.
It said: “You have overstayed your welcome. Our youths are not kidnappers. Armed robbery is not a trademark for Ngwa identification.”
The people expressed their support for genuine business people in the area, saying: “We will give every encouragement to our stranger-brothers who sojourn in Ukwa Ngwa land to do genuine business and assure them to carry on their business without fear. But for those who have come to sponsor or participate in these heinous crimes, they should leave our land and go back to theirs.
“We equally appeal to the federal government to revisit the amnesty granted to the Niger Delta people to include Abia so that our youths will embrace the opportunity and enjoy the benefits. We plead with governor T A Orji to set up a body to liaise with the Amnesty Committee of the Federal Government in this regard.”