Ugwuati community in Ukwa West Local Government of Abia State was on Wednesday thrown into mourning following the shooting to death of a youth leader, Nwamaka Ogbuji, by policemen attached to Abia State Government Committee and Surveyors for land acquisition for the Enyimba Economic City (EEC) project.
It was gathered that the state government committee visited Ugwuati community to finalise agreements for the acquisition of land for the much-talked-about EEC and Ogbuji was said to have attended the meeting held between the committee and members of his community.
Trouble started when Ogbuji and the rest of the youths refused to accept the takeover of their land for whatever reason, stressing that they were farmers and would not afford to take such risk.
A source informed that apart from Ogbuji who died instantly after he was shot in the head, other youths sustained bullet wounds. Three of of the victims were said to be in critical conditions.
According to the source: “The youths were unarmed, they gathered at the village hall to listen to the committee from Abia State Government on the acquisition of land for the Enyimba Economic City.
“The youths vehemently refused to give out their land for the project saying that since they are farmers that would amount to mortgaging the future of their children”.
The source further stated that at a point, the meeting became very rowdy, tensed up and to control the situation, the policemen on ground fired indiscriminately to disperse the youth and bullets hit some of them.
After the killing, tension rose very high, so, soldiers were drafted to the community to ensure that the committee members were escorted out of the area unharmed.
“You can’t just take away people’s land without their approval. When they finished killing the youth leader, everywhere was hot so, their drivers drove away and escaped, the remaining persons hid in the houses of some government agents in the community and invited the soldiers to ensure they were not harmed in the community”, said the source.