The leaders of Nimo community in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State have distanced themselves from the women who protested against them at the state Government House on Wednesday.
Accompanied by some youths, the protesting women alleged high-handedness on the part of the community leaders and threatened a naked protest if their grievances were not addressed by the state governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo.
However, the leadership of Nimo Town Development Union (NTDU), the apex body of the community, released a press statement. In the statement, signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Clems Ezedinachi, they described the protesters as hired individuals.
Parts of the press release read: “We wish to let it be known that those behind the protest are a few elements in the town who are disappointed that the administration of Nimo affairs is no longer business as usual.
“Let it be put on record that our traditional ruler has no involvement in the sale of any land. The Anambra State Law has clearly stipulated the duties of the palace and the town union and so has it been in Nimo.
“The Nimo General Assembly approved the plotting and sales of portions of Owa Land years ago which is being implemented now and headed by a committee of competent individuals.
“Monies realized from the sales are to be channeled into developing the town, of which the ongoing Civic Centre is the first beneficiary. But these disgruntled elements would rather want a communal land to be shared individually for them to probably use the proceeds to fund their passions.”
The community leadership added that those who participated in the protest were primarily young individuals who expressed dissatisfaction with being prevented from imposing taxes on developers.
The statement added, “It is a fact that youth restiveness is now the norm in many communities where they have become a law unto themselves and dictating to people who build houses how much to pay them.
“This is injurious to government’s clarion call for people to return home and develop the state.
“We therefore once more apologize to the state government for the continued embarrassment caused by these pernicious elements who are part of the problems being experienced in many communities.”