IFEOMA EJIOFOR writes that Ihite-Okija people in Ihiala local government area of Anambra state have been warned against dragging the military into land and other civil matters.
This warning was dropped by Lt Col P.A Adeke, Commander 14 FER, Onitsha during an interaction with the leadership of the community last Saturday.
Col Adeke said that it has come to the notice of military authorities that some persons in the community erected sign posts of ‘Military Zone’ on a certain disputed land.
The commander of 14 FER Onitsha said that the military authorities frown at any form of impersonation and would not take it easy with the individuals who mounted ‘Military Zone’ billboard on church land in Okija.
He said whoever that is aggrieved over any land issue should report to the police or go to the competent court of jurisdiction rather than dragging the military into such.
“Okija people, do you have Military barracks here, why did you people mount billboard of Military Zone in your community, you must produce the individuals who are responsible for the impersonation of the military except you want to see the military in action in your community.
“Even as a serving military officer, I don’t have any right to put military zone on my personal land, why will some individuals in your community want to attract the wrath of the military?” He quipped.
Col Adeke said that the people who allegedly mounted the bill board must produce the soldiers who have been working for them.
A spokesperson for Ihite-Okija community, Ide Nwangwu Gregory however said that he did not know the persons who are responsible for mounting the billboard in the community.
He however agreed that the persons mentioned by the military brass are indigenes of his community.
A spokesperson for the Nnewi Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Rt Hon Humphrey Nsofor who said that the church was invited by the military noted that the church bought the land in 1978 and was surprised that certain individuals started attacking the workers brought by the church to work on the land.
The former Majority Leader, Anambra State House of Assembly said work was actually in progress when one Innocent Ifejirika came and beat up workers and a priest claiming that he has bought the land.
He claimed that one of workers Paul Nwanya was actually kidnapped in Ihite-Okija community on 26th of May.
Rt Hon Nsofor said that the church projects designed by the Bishop of the Nnewi Diocese of the Anglican Communion was meant for the betterment of the community even as he solicited the support and cooperation of Ihite-Okija people.
“The Bishop of the Nnewi Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Rt Revd Ndubuishi Obi has decided to set up an Agricultural Institute and other developmental projects in the community. The diocese is building a chapel, sunk a borehole and some other things.” He noted.
The military authorities, community leaders and representatives of the Church later went to the twenty hectares of land to remove the offensive billboard.
Innocent Ifejirika from Ubahu-Okija, Donatus Emegwa, Chigozie Ezerue, Azuka Anadi and Innocent Anadi, all of Uhuokwe are the persons mentioned by Lt Col Adeke to be responsible for the erection of the military billboard on the church land.