Graphic photo: policeman allegedly kills Abia youth leader over land


A yet-to-be identified policeman has allegedly killed Mr. Nwamaka Ogbuji, a youth leader of Umunwogu kindred in Ugwuati community, Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State.

It was gathered that the incident occurred when police officers accompanied government committee and surveyors to Ugwuati community to finalise the process of acquisition of land for Enyimba Economic City (EEC).

The killing of the community leader was said to have thrown residents into mourning.

Sources said that trouble started when Ogbuji and others refused to accept the take-over of their land by the government for EEC and other projects.

The Nation learnt that the community youths protested what land could be for an agrarian community, whose life was dependent on farming.

It was gathered that besides Ogbuji, who was shot in the head and died instantly, several people also sustained bullet wounds, with three victims said to be in critical conditions in unnamed hospitals.

“The youth, who were unarmed, had gathered at the hall to listen to the committee from the Abia State Government about the acquisition of land for the Enyimba Economic City.

“Due to how things are in Abia where promises end up in the mouth of the speaker without fulfilment, the youth told the delegation that they were not prepared to mortgage their lives for a project they did not understand.

“It was when the arguments started becoming noisy that the police, who came with the government delegation, started shooting indiscriminately. Our people are not stupid. They didn’t fight anybody.

“They only refused to give out their land to people they don’t trust will make judicious use of it. Go to Obuaku City, you’ll see how parcels of land were acquired there years ago without any result.

“Now, they have come with this story of Enyimba Economic City, which we don’t believe is a serious thing. The people are even afraid that they may use our land for RUGA.

“You can’t just take away people’s land without their approval. After they killed the youth leader, everywhere was hot. So, their drivers escaped.

“The remaining persons hid in the houses of some government agents in the community and invited the soldiers to ensure their escape from the community,” a source said.

The Coordinator of Centre for Youth Care and Human Rights Awareness (CYHRA), Mr. Chukwuemeka Mba, urged Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and the senator representing Abia South, Enyinnaya Abaribe, to investigate the incident and punish the culprits.

Police Commissioner Ene Okon confirmed the incident.

He claimed that the youth wanted to snatch a rifle from a policeman.

He said while protecting his gun from the youth, the policeman fired into the air, but the bullet strayed and hit one of the youth.

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