- Akamanato declares its farm lands not for sale, invalidates all transactions
- To those who bought Akamanato farmlands, come take your money back
- Villagers vow to vigorously recover the farm lands
- Akamanato land Fraudsters Seek Mercy
- Committed to peace, Unity and Brotherliness
Akamanato is one of the five villages in Ifite Nteje. Nteje is composed of Ezi, Ikenga and Ifite kindred. Nteje is the Headquarters of Oyi Local Government. Oyi is one of the 21 local government areas that made-up Anambra State. Ifite is made-up of Agwa, Akamanato, Amansi, Orukabi and Umuejiofor villages. Each of the villages has a number of communities, distinct ancestral land and peculiar systems of governance. Nteje people are mostly farmers. Akamanato village is not an exception to this farming tradition. The village has comparatively vast farm lands scattered along bothers with other villages and towns, and the people’s attachments and reverences to the land are particularly great. The massive acres of land are sources of livelihood for the Akamanato villagers. For the sake of emphasis, Akamanato farm lands are meaningfully large. The farm lands are apparently parts of the village’s many natural endowments. The following farm lands are owned and farmed by Akamanato since the ‘world began’, Ugwu-nengo, Onocaha, Uzombito, Ogbu-akwu, Nankele, Okpodum, Udoaba, Iyiojii, Ogugu etc
Akamanato has land borders with Nkwere and Nnadi. These are parts of the farm lands leading to the Anambra Airport. The Akamanato farm lands are estimated to be between six and ten thousand acres. These farm lands were inherited from the ancestors of Akamanato people and were cultivated by individuals. Akamanato villagers regularly lease parts of the farm lands to friends on terms agreeable to them. It is on the land that the villagers farm and depend predominantly. Akamanato cherishes the enormous gifts of the vast land. And through the resource of the land the people were able to produce the prominent men and women that laid the foundations of modern Nteje.
In the making of modern Nteje, Akamanato was the pace-setter. It was Akamanato village alone that produced all the prominent personalities that revealed the great potentials of Nteje to the wider Igboland. The first indigenous Nteje Lawyer, Barrister Charles Amasiani is from Akamanato. Akamanato village produced many Directors of prominent institutions in Nigeria when the former Anambra local government areas were in figurative darkness, in most ramifications of education and exposure.
Engr, Philip Ozuah (Snr.) was a director in National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). Among other national assignments, he spearheaded the electrification of the former Anambra State, (for historical clarity, the following states were carved out of the former Anambra State, Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi). Engr. Mike Cheteuya Chikendu is also an indigene of Akamanato. Engr. Chikendu was an entrepreneur and had a number of engineering firms. Ozuah and Chikendu were both British trained Engineers. These were pioneer Engineers that set the pace and are bundles of positive inspirations for Nteje indigenous Engineers.
Peter Ekwealo was Director, First Bank of Nigeria until his retirement. It is important to also include Fabian Ozuah who was manager, Lever Brothers Nigerian Limited. The name Pete Edochie resonates with notable accomplishments. In Nigeria and beyond, Pete is a comet shining brightest. The contemporary Nteje people is proud of, and venerates the Ozuah, Amasiani, Edochie, Chikendu and Ekwealo for the invaluable roles the Akamanato children played in its modern history. Ifite led Nteje to civilization if persons of greatest contributions and wider national influences are used as measuring tools. As Ifite leads Nteje, Akamanato directs and produces trends for Ifite.
Today, much has changed in the configurations of who is who in Nteje. The ground is gradually and progressively leveling to the extent that Akamanato no longer monopolize prominence in Nteje, significantly, as in the foundation laying periods of modernism. Appropriate foundations of progress were determinedly laid by Akamanato for so much achievements in the whole of Nteje town. Nteje town consequently has produced so many Lawyers, Engineers, Doctors, Priests, Veteran Actors, Writers, indeed people of substantial influences and limitless chains of millionaire businessmen. The achievements of sons and daughters of Nteje are comparable to those of the neighbouring towns. However, what is particularly, significant is that Akamanato still managed to top chart of persons of greatest achievements in Nteje with a reputable US Surgeon, Philip Oranye Ozuah Ph.D
Philip Oranye Ozuah Ph.D
Dr. Philip Ozuah is the President and CEO of Montefiore Medicine in USA. It was this child of Akamanato village that gave College of Medicine, University of Ibadan 1 million dollars. The virtue of the gesture was applauded by cross sections of Nigerians and even by Muhmmad Buhari, the president of Nigeria. Many Social Media Forums have not, even, today lowered the crescendo of Dr. Ozuah’s exaltation. The Ozuah’s gesture was an unparalleled, and he became a paradigm of patriotic citizenship. Dr. Ozuah peddles multinational excellence.
The Dark-Holes of Evil in Akamanato
Many wondered in perplexity the sources of the courage for the crude urchins that invaded Akamanato communities to conquer, disperse the people and claim the farm land. An easy explanation has been that the appalling failure of Federal Government in spheres of security, and the lack of capacities of the other tiers of governments to insist on adherent to the rule law created incentive for criminals to freelance violence in the enclave. Violence can easily become an option for the felons without commitments to worthy enterprises as long as guns are readily available. The rapidity with which violence is democratised across Nigeria is explainable by the fact that there are endless groups of non-state actors with illegal stockpiles of dangerous weapons. The accessibility of weapons of violence are impetus for the raw and lawless persons in Akamanato village to decree regimes of anarchy, violence and terror. The communities were enveloped by lawlessness an inevitable consequences of flagrant land scam. The lawlessness was a precursor to campaigns of evil and bloodshed that drove away some community members who cannot endure the horror. As the village was terrorized and destabilized parts of the farmland were purportedly auctioned fraudulently.
Within the communities, most of the victims of the violence alleged that the felons were emboldened by protections provided them by a man from Umuefi, a neighboring village. The Abuja based- man, purportedly, provided the logistics and police protections to the criminals that destabilized not only Akamanato but Ifite as a whole. The man’s interest in Ifite farm lands was the reason why he became hell bent in harming or crushing anyone who opposes his proxies’ criminal sale of the communities’ land. According to sources, with the scramble to covert as much land as possible the, said Abuja man allegedly acquired, illegally, 600 plots of Ifite land through violence and terrorism.
Mazi Ekwedibia Obidi the Oldest Son of Akamanato denies every involvement in the land scam
The interest of this endeavour is to write the stories as presented by our sources. An effort was made to speak to parties to the Akamanato land crisis so that a reasonably balanced view can be achieved. The respondents to the questions by this team obtained assurances that their identities should be concealed for fear of repercussions. Given the statures of Akamanato, the nagging questions many commentators have not been able to satisfactorily answer are:
• Why was Akamanato easily overwhelmed and plundered by rogue elements in the community with neither fear nor challenges from the motley personalities the village is extraordinarily gifted?
• When the unscrupulous members of the village in connivance with the alleged external criminals started the campaigns of destruction, attacking, destroying properties of those who opposed their evil, why did the victims not mobilize supports from local authorities including the police?
• What are the levels damages, how many lives were lost?
• What are the plans of Akamanato communities in restoration normalcy, console the victims of the dastardly acts, chastise the felons and repossess the parts of its land fraudulently sold? These questions and many other developing issues will guide this enterprise.
Systems of Governance in Akamanato
Akamanato village though substantially gerontological is administered collegiate by groups recognized, endorsed and given insignia for the roles in the management of the affairs of the village. These groups included the Oji-Ana, the Umu-Ama, Umu-Agbala and Umu-Ada. Oji-Ana can literally be translated as communities’ custodians or local administrators. The main responsibilities of the group are general management of the village. The group carries out development plans of the village, organises the communities and settle disputes through convocation of general meetings of every member of the village. Oji-Ana only sets the pace in meetings but allows the decisions to be reached by the people. The presence of the oldest man in the village confirms the validity of gatherings and forum must be formed. The functions of Oji-Ana are multifarious.
A Member of Oji-Ana Akamanato Discusses the Village Land
Umu-Ama are youths under the supervisions of Ndi chi Ama. Umu-Ama has unlimited roles some of which included sanitising the communities squares and maintenance of all roads. Umu-Ama is the most vigorous populations of the village. The group can be mobilised for duties that affect the collective interest of the village. The village elders endorse the missions of Oji-Ana and delegate the group, the group in turn weaponizes the Umu-Ama through the directorship of Ndi chi Ama age grade. The operations of each group are interdependent on the other.
Umu-Agbala is a women group. It has its own peculiar structures of powers or hierarchies of authorities. Umu-Agbala handles family and women related issues. Umu-Ada is a group of indigenous daughters of Akamanato whether married outside the community or not. It has enormous influences on the affairs of Akamanato communities. Methodically, Umu-Ada chooses where it wishes to intervene in the affairs of the communities. Meetings in Akamanato involve everyone except when they are exclusive. The head of Akamanato village, today, is Mazi Ekwedibia Obidi and seconded by Mazi Obi Chikendu. Mazi Obidi and Chikendu are the oldest sons of Akamanato. They are revered by all for the privileges of being the heads of the communities making the Akamanato village.
Akamanato village is made of Umu-Ogada, Ezimkpu, Umu-Anugwa and Umu-Obindo communities. In the recent times the need for efficiency and dispatch in the administrations of the communities following rapid urbanization, a new idea of governance was brought up. It was an introduction of persons whose roles are to interface with the village head, the Oji-Ana and Umu-Ama. These groups needed supports and new thinking in order effectively manage current developments in the communities. For Umu-Ogada and Ezimkpu Engr. Tony Akwue was designated for the new roles while Umu-Anugwa and Umu-Obindo are supervised by Nnamdi Joseph Chikendu. Engr. Akwue and Mr. Chikendu have no leisure of unilateral decisions except in stringent emergence. They consult and take decisions on the bases of clear consensus from the elders, Oji-Ana and other axis of power in Akamanato.
The Origin of Chaos in Akamanato
Akamanato village has been peace-loving and resourceful subject to the characters of its founders. As a village that has produced the bests and the firsts in Nteje, the village treasures innovation and progressive spirit. Things started falling apart, visibly, around 2017 when ill-disposed members of the communities were inspired by motley scammers to embark on fraudulent land deals. The vast village farm lands were invaded by armies of unprincipled investors. The corrupt investors were sealing undone deals from faceless Akamanato land scammers. There were attempts at clear conquest of due processes in the regulations concerning land, yet they proceeded. The whole deals were chaotic, imprudent and unsustainable. There were valid objections and vigorous reactions against the illegalities.
Violence originated as reactions to, and became measures of stampede on all those who raised alarm over the invasions and the abnormal land deals. The violence was to rout the critics and opponents of the imprudent business into submission. Houses were destroyed, properties worth millions were wrecked, many were either wounded or killed and others who cannot withstand the atrocities went into exiles, thus Akamanato was deserted to the frolics of the dare devils. There was a reign of terror, a deliberate campaign of violence, unilateral wars against the forces of good and virtues of the village. Parts of abominable acts of horrendous violence included, beating, humiliating and/or of flogging of elders of the communities that spoke against the Alu.
There are stories of some elders of the communities who were forced to take oaths of secrecy under active threats of machete cuts. The objectives of the oaths included consent to the abhorrent land deals, concealment of the conspirators and brotherhood in the crimes etc. The ones that stood on the way of the waves of the evils never lived long to narrate their ordeals as many died as direct results of brute-like tortures. Threats of imminent violence, fear of maltreatment, rape were used to scatter the villagers and drive them away from their homes. The violence, the destruction of lives and properties were used by the felons to compromise or face out opposition to the conspiracy.
The state, police and local authorities failed Akamanato
Akamanato parades the best and the brightest but its strength of virtue was no match to the fire-powers of its weakest members who were co-opted and corrupted by seductions of evil. They sold their consciences and became potent tools to those who are determined to enslave them and their kinsmen. With some raps of fresh naira notes they succumbed to sinister plots against Akamanato. By means of the active violence those who glory in the enslavement of their kinsmen than in their dignity and honour overran Akamanato but have no significant potentials overwhelmed it. There was no place for safety, interventions on behalf of the victims failed to come, the innocent and vulnerable were left to fend themselves. In the midst of the unilateral fierce violence many villagers refused to capitulate. They were not overwhelmed even when they had no weapon, the only armament they had was virtues of principled resistance against evil.
The reasons why Akamanato played terribly into the hands of imprudent land prospectors were clear. The first of the reasons is that it has not distributed its communal land when all other adjoining villages have theirs re-allocated to individuals long ago. It was the allurements of easy money from the sales of land that moistened the appetites of the few that went into Akamanato land. Having tasted the figurative apple, there were little resistances against going into other people’s farm lands on any pretext using accomplices. Secondly, Akamanato has more vast acres of farm lands than all the neighbouring villages put together. More so, the vast farm lands are in advantageous positions. Thirdly, there are some members of the village that are too weak, corrupt and gullible. These were preys to, and good tools to the avaricious land thieves to use in accessing Akamanato farms.
According to an account the rough tackles on the village and incursion of Akamanato land started when one of the villagers named Fabian Uwadiegwu Obi formed a group of concerned villagers and approached the village head, Mazi Ekwedibia Obidi on land distribution question, the village head allegedly consented to the need for organisation of the communities for the purposes of sharing the land according to the custom. The custom provided that only male children are entitled to participate in the re-distribution. This account has, however, been denied by Mazi Obidi. The oldest man said he did not discuss any land issue with Uwadiegwu, besides, Uwadiegwu has no status in the village for the conferment of such position. Obidi said that “there is Oji-Ana and other officials of the village, these are the custodians of land matters of the village. So, it is untruthful that I gave consent to Uwadiegwu and co to invade our land.
The alleged consent by me to Uwadiegwu was a pretext for the land scammers.” Obidi queried, “If I told Uwadiegwu to organise for the reallocation of the land to individuals, did he report to me the outcome of the organisation? Where are the reports of the number of eligible individuals for the reallocation and where are the survey plans that detail the nature of the land? If actually the land was reallocated where is my share and that of my family members”? According to the eldest son, “at least, I am entitled to be the first to take a share as the head of the village and the eldest son. So, the consent from me is inconceivable as Uwadiegwu is not an official of Akamanato known to me”. On the hand, the village head in several fora denied the knowledge of any land distribution.
Mazi Obidi decried the dastardly acts of incriminating him in the village land scam. He continuously invoked curses on the perpetrators of the crimes on the land. He reiterated that he gave no one permission to dispose the village land. Comments from some Akamanato stakeholders revealed that there was not meeting, no decision nor consensus on when and how the village land can be shared. According to these, if the land has to be shared or redistributed the first thing is to survey the land to determine the size, the value and positions for facilities necessary for development. Again, a census should have been conducted to determine the redistribution formula.
Akamanato Village Head, Mazi Ekwedibia Obidi denies giving Uwadiegwu permission to go into the village land
A prominent member of the village, Mazi Igwebuike, remarked “that Uwadiegwu neither returned to give account to the village head on the plan for commencement of the land re-distribution nor allocated any land to him as an entitlement is a pointer to the said conspiracy. The probabilities that the man was not consulted are very high. My candid opinion is that the whole plans to enter the community farm lands were without necessary consensus.
One of the Akamanato elders Mazi Emoh Anasi narrates experience with the scammers
The mission was a rebellious affront that cannot be condoned”. Therefore, I considered the village heads continuous denial of consent to the illegal deals as legitimate efforts to demonstrate his blamelessness. There were unanimous denunciations of Mr. Uwadiegwu as the chairman of Akamanato. Mr. Uwadiegwu, Chairman of Akamanato was unimaginable, such position never existed because the village has the position managed by the village head, the Oji-ana and the two appointed coordinators of both Ezimkpu and Umuanugwa, Engr. Tony Akwue and Nnamdi Joseph Chikendu respectively.
Preliminary decisions on the quick resolution of the land scam
In the interest of peace, stability and progressive movement forward, the village head and the all-relevant stakeholders of Akamanato in various speeches insisted that anyone who bought Akamanato land should go and reclaim the money from whoever the money was given because the village farm lands are not sale. There will never be decision to sell the land collectively. If the farm lands are auctioned, how do we copy eventually? These farms are our primary sources of basic means of survival. “We are farm dependent, imagine the destruction of crops and the prevailing starvation in the land because our farms have been forcefully taken away from us by unknown people”, said a woman whose farms were destroyed and crops uprooted by someone putting up a building in her farm. Mr. Obidi ordered those involved in the aborted sale of the land to return the money to the buyers.
Violence in Akamanato Village
Akamanato village witnessed continuous violent attacks with the rising tides of strong oppositions to the fraudulent encroachment to the land belonging individuals and groups in the village. It was manifestly clear that the objectives of the violence were to stifle voices of those insisting on due processes in the issues regarding the farm lands. The destruction of houses, the setting on fire of properties, vehicles, the injurious attacks on persons and murders were instruments used to break the resistance of those who refused to cooperate with the land scammers. In all the violence, arson, murders etc, Nnamdi Fabian Uwadiegwu is fingered. Mr. Uwadiegwu was accused of the illegal entry into the village land, the fraudulent sale of the farm lands and sponsor of all the violence to silence the opponents. The destabilizations of Akamanato communities were tactics of drowning dissenting voices.
This alleged Assassin claims to have been hired by Nnamdi Fabian Uwadiegwu to hunt his opponents
Ikemefuna Boyoyo Onyeka, recounted how Fabian Uwadiegwu invaded his house, attacked him, beat-up his mother, the wife, destroyed their house and rendered the family homeless. Ikemefuna said he did nothing to warrant the raid of his house by Uwadiegwu and his unknown gunmen who came shooting sporadically. He revealed that as he was speaking, he was on the run, hiding for his safety. He proposed that those close to Uwadiegwu should ask him what Ifite and Akamanato people did to deserve the relentless war against them. Ikemefuna implicated one Bomboy Nwoye Chidee in the alleged Uwadiegwu’s terror campaigns and willful destruction of lives and properties of Ifite and Akamanato people. He however called for rapid interventions from the government and the security because people’s lives have been turned-upside down due to continuous violence from Uwadiegwu and co.
Ikemefuna Boyoyo Onyeka. narrates his ordeals, explains his innocence
One of the villagers simply known as ‘Area’ also accused Uwadiegwu of arming corrupt youths in Nteje. He “compromised many of the youths with gifts of cars and used them for harassing our village elders and embarking on sordid violence in the village that left many families devastated”. Is it not an abomination that our old men are harassed and flogged”? He stressed that “whoever is supporting Uwadiegwu, poor or rich should realise that Uwadiegwu is doing evil, he is an evil doer”. Uwadiegwu is a hardened criminal, he alleged. “He was made a place holder youth chairman pending a resolution of crisis plaguing Ifite but he usurped the power and started selling Akamanato land criminally”. Sam warmed anyone “who gave Nnamdi money for land should understand that he or she was scammed. He threatened that very soon the stolen land will be recovered and all structures erected in the land will be demolished”.
According to sources, Mr. Tony Anasi suffered continuous brutalisation, Okwudili Nwokoye, (Odensa) had his house raised down, vehicles burnt and suffered grave physical injuries that kept him hospitalised for a protracted period all as a result of anti-Fabian Uwadiegwu rampaging violence. The illegalities in the village land cannot stand. Among those whose, alleged, experiences in the hands Mr. Uwadiegwu are hard to recount are Mr. Sunday Edochie, a retired Inspector of Police.
Mr. Sunday, a relative of Chief Pete Edochie was beaten without compassion, dragged to the village square scarcely clad and bleeding profusely as a result of his head that was almost shattered with machete cuts. Engr. Mike Chikendu, a British citizen and an Akamanato native who visited the village on vacation became unfortunate victim of the abominable rampage. He was accosted and his stance against the Uwadiegwu and his cohorts resulted in his brutalization. He was mercilessly beaten with machetes and disgraced, by urchins supposedly sent to him by Uwadiegwu. It was alleged that the trauma from the humiliation, the beatings by the brutes and the injuries sustained in the assaults murdered him. Amiable Engr. Chikendu’s life ended few months later.
The invasion of Mr. Chigozie Ogboh’s house was harrowing. After physically mishandling him by criminals allegedly sent by Mr. Uwadiegwu, his properties were looted and the remaining was set on fire. Few minutes later, the arsonists returned picked his 6 months old baby squeezed the legs and drop it lifeless on the ground. It took days to revive the child and months for the child to recover from the injuries. Others who suffered physical attacks and with indelible physical and/or psychological injuries as a result of disapproval to the waves of heinous crimes in the village included Nnamdi Chikendu, Hon. Brownson Ginikanwa, Chibuzor Onuama, etc.
Mr. Chigozie Ogboh narrates the invasion of his house, also links the death of his father to the crisis in Akamanato
Akamanato never capitulated to the intimidation, the victims of the evil refused to be compromised, they rejected covert inducements and objected to every strategy to go in solidarity with those erring members messing up the village and expropriating the land. These patriots were committed to the virtues of right thinking and good behaviour. They have sensitive conscience that kept them reminded that evil is always evil, and must be avoid. They demonstrated that the best they can offer their fatherland is the defense of its confines and integrity. They insisted with their lives that Akamanato land is not for sale and even if it is to be sold due processes must be followed.
The intimidation by means of steady violence hampered concerted efforts to organised a united front against mercenaries of land defrauders. To start with, the criminals rendered the village lifeless as able-bodied members were either in exile or hiding. Every effort to converge meets police arrest and detention. Engr. Tony Akwue, Nnamdi Chikendu, Hon. Brownson Ginikanwa, Chibuzor Onuama, Tony Anasi etc were regularly detained by Nigerian Police allegedly on the orders of a known criminal in the village. The only understandable crimes committed by the people were uncompromising war against man’s inhumanity to man in the village. They refused to work in solidarity with felons killing and maiming the kinsmen.
Akamanato village had nowhere to seek protection or respite from the unilateral wars of attrition from one of its own. Mr. Uwadiegwu moves with Mobile Police Officers and soldiers. There is an impression that Nigeria Police runs errands for him. The security officers allegedly aid and abet many crimes against Akamanato communities. A source claimed that all the people used by the felon for the dastard offences against kinsmen were know and identifiable but these are sacred cows as much as the ring leader. They have comprehensive police cover. “Their god-father, the Abuja based Umuefi man established contacts for the syndicates in Force Headquarter Abuja. This explains the reasons behind the detention of the victims of the crimes in Abuja. So Akamanato made efforts to live in peace and stability but the efforts were unfruitful because the villagers were abandoned, vulnerable and defenseless”, opined one Mr. Gab.
The dramatic dimensions of the Akamanato crisis
The waves of the unilateral violence against Akamanato village were intense. The communities were left in astonishment as unexpectedly the executors of the crisis were normal villagers that suddenly metamorphosed into fierce and pitiless predators. The alleged king-pin of the fracas, Mr. Fabian Uwadiegwu was born and brought-up in the village. His family lines are firmly rooted in Akamanato. The mother, Ugonnia Adinma, was born and brought-up in Akamanato and got married to a villager, Uwadiegwu Obi. The personality of Mr. Uwadiegwu in the crisis is part of the intrigues that made the experience of the violence dramatic and remains unexplainable. The questions in the minds of the peers were was Fabian all of sudden possessed by spirits of violence? How come that he became an easy prey to such ferocious spirits of violence and pitilessness?
An age mate who claimed to be closed to him from childhood, Zikom, revealed that “the change in Fabian was surprisingly rapid as he developed closed relationship with the Abuja-based Umuefi man and his aid simply known as Okuefuna, alias Atiku. Zikom said “it was then that Fabian became completely involved in all manners of fetish activities. This is to the extent that he dedicated himself to all manners of deities across the South-east and beyond. He became accustomed to rituals and offering animal sacrifices to endless numbers of deities. He became a magnet to groups of the same dispositions”. For whatever reason, the villagers once invaded his lodging and exposed disgusting insight into his daily cultist routine. “The building was littered with idols of different shapes and sizes all soaked in blood-like substances, feathers and varieties of animals’ skins.
The villagers were panic-stricken by the revelations of the identities of a transformed Fabian Uwadiegwu. It was at this point that it became abundantly clearer to Akamanato that it is now dealing with a completely strange fellow in Fabian”, the source concluded. A villager called Stagger said “Fabian was possessed by legions of evil spirits; he has lost his mind and sold his soul to the devil”. An elderly villager, Mazi Ifeacho, noted that “a predominant fear in the village is that Fabian Uwadiegwu has inducted a number of gullible persons in the communities whom he uses for violence and encourage conflict in Akamanato. He literally chained these recruits with various oaths of secrecy and brotherhood. The oaths were taken from, presumable, potent idols brought from various places around Nigeria. However, those who objected to the oaths were encouraged to surrender by fiercest chastisement”. According to all accounts, village elders were flogged and bruised for objection to the conspiracies. There was a case of an elderly man an idol was hung on his neck and dragged along in disgrace because he objected to forced oath taking.
Again, the people that continued to do the damages in Akamanato were known and identifiable so are the sponsors of the criminality. The police protection makes them appear invincible. The supposed protection from the police and other groups of Nigerian security forces gave the culprits the incentives necessary to act with brazen impunity. Mr. Uwadiegwu defines himself as an indomitable fly, Ejiji a na solu Nma. Ejiji a na solu nma, literally, means a fly combated with machetes. One of the many alleged proxies of Uwadiegwu identifies himself as Eze Obi Aranmili, a literal translation of this name is ‘a king devoid of pity’. Eze Obi Aranmili looks uncooked in every way including appearance, speech and action.
For Mr. Idigwe, “description of a new Mr. Fabian Uwadiegwu is harder than the five blind men’s tasks of describing an elephant. At least, the blindmen were certain that the object is an elephant and animal but the Akamanato indigenes were hardly sure that they are dealing with Fabian Nnamdi Uwadiegwu Obi and one sharing the same paternity and fraternity with every other Akamanato villager”. For Beno, a villager who claims significant closeness to the family and Fabian himself, “the boy presents an image of someone whose body and soul were replaced by demon leaving him with the superficial. He talks dreamily like someone challenging stupor, disparages and waves aside every admonition and warns whoever accosts him to scamper for safety”.
According to David simply called De Event, “the ‘wonder’ in Mr. Uwadiegwu was created by one Ikechukwu Erikife from Agwa village and Ngoesina from Iruatu community in Amansi village. The predisposition of Uwadiegwu made him attractive to all conspiring against Ifite people and the land. Erikife is a deeply controversial figure in Ifite. He has considerable undesirable references due to sordid land deals that classified him in Agwa as an active crook”. Erikife co-opted his relation Ngoesina, and in a clandestine gathering of co-conspirators proclaimed Uwadiegwu Ifite Youths’ Chairman. An agitation against the illegitimate conferment of Uwadiegwu Ifite Youths’ Chairman did not subside before he was vigorously weaponised as an access point to Akamanato farm lands.
According to Ifeka from Umu-ogada, “the very first of the exposure of Uwadiegwu to land related deals was the appointment as Ifite Youth’s Chairman. Ikechukwu and Ngoesina encouraged Uwadiegwu to go into Akamanato village land, they made him ‘unstoppable’ by providing him support back-ups. Uwadiegwu grew and became capacitated by the criminal structures of influences Erikife built over time with his association with the Abuja based business from Umuefi”. The Umuefi man micro manages plethora of trouble making groups in Nteje town through a proxy, named Atiku. He uses the unscrupulous groups for politics and exportation of unwholesome influences around Nteje”.
Pasco, one of the guys deeply infuriated by the way Uwadiegwu, allegedly, destabilised Akamanato said “Fabian Nnamdi Uwadiegwu Obi is Ifite Youths’ Chairman, he is not that of Akamanato. He has no recognisable role in the leadership structures of Akamanato. Chairmanship in Ifite is devoid of any right over land in Akamanato village. We already have custom-ordained upholders of land in Akamanato as it is the case in every village in Nteje. The custodians are called Ojiana. Land related issues belong to Ojiana Akamanato and the elders”. According to Pasco, “Igbo society is gerontological. In Akamanato, elders rule the communities through the instrumentalities of Oji-ana and Umu-ama. The elders confer legitimacy to anyone to administer the communities in the village”. “So customarily speaking, it is inconceivable that Uwadiegwu was endorsed to go into the village land on any pretext”. “Mazi Obidi the eldest son of Akamanato and Mazi Obi Chikendu have in several meetings collectively and individually denied giving Uwadiegwu an excuse to go into the land”.
Pasco stressed that “in the meetings convoked during Christmas 2022 and Easter 2023 to calm the frayed nerves and find solutions to the unfortunate crisis in the village, Obidi claimed he never had conversation with Uwadiegwu and his groups on issues of land redistribution because such is violation of established protocols, and impracticable. On the two separate occasions Obidi repeatedly swore with his continuous headship of the village and his life against Uwadiegwu for going into the village with criminal intents, incriminating him and throwing Akamanato into unprecedented violence”.
According to Mazi Obidi “what is witnessed in Akamanato is quite a deliberate fratricide. Houses were burnt, properties destroyed while many were either maimed or killed. The village has been deserted by our people. Our sons and daughters have all ran away to escape violent storms of a ‘common fly’. Fabian Uwadiegwu been nobody and is still what he was but has just been given weapon and courage to move with impunity. Imagine the rabble protected by Nigerian Police, the Army and the DSS. He remained invincible because he makes money in the land scam and shared with the security people”.
In series of speeches in which Hon. Ifeanyirochukwu Ginikanwa (Brownson) called for peace and appealed for calm because the Akamanato can never continue a war against itself, Uwadiegwu countered and disparaged him. Uwadiegwu called Brownson hysterical and encouraged him to vacate the village like others if he is afraid and unable to manage the crisis. Uwadiegwu admonished Brownson to backoff, and that as long as he lives, he cannot allow any gathering of the villagers for any meeting. Uwadiegwu queried the wisdom behind such meeting. He said the meeting Brownson called for is unrealisable, and allegedly, threatening fire and brimstone.
Mazi Uchefuna Ezinwa speaks addresses Akamanato
Recall, Uwadiegwu is been accused of staging stabilising violence to create no disposition for the Akamanato to gather and strategize against his unproven atrocities. Pasco claimed that Uwadiegwu was “threatened by prospects of united front against fratricidal wars he, allegedly, brought against his kinsmen since 2017 the fraudulent land businesses started”. The denials of the carnage by Uwadiegwu infuriated almost everyone in the village. A villager we called Skidoo said “the inability to eliminate Uwadiegwu, his diehard proxies and sponsors were the police, the army and the DSS he moves around with”. Skidoo alleged that “Uwadiegwu expropriated parts of Akamanato land to Umuefi by falsely testifying against his kinsmen over some parcels of land that belonging to Akamanato. This is one of the ways through which he appeases his sponsors from Umuefi. As for police and military protections, he shares proceeds from the land scams with the security authorities”.
For Skidoo, with the patronages of these groups, he puffs airs of impunity and invincibility. If not, it is unknown that a power of one man overwhelms that of a community. Uwadiegwu’s brashness was further bolstered by myriad of assistances he gets for his negative enterprises by people around Nteje and beyond. These are people he corrupted by gifts money, cars etc. The foot soldiers execute the violence with him and for him”. Skidoo revealed that “Uwadiegwu has very little education, poor parents and background, and was a commercial cyclist transporting people in and around the village for pittance until his exploration into illegal land businesses, gratitude to Ikechukwu Erikife, Ngoesina his Umuefi connections”.
The continuous attacks and threats of violence on Akamanato village
In one of the meetings organised by the elders of the village, Ojiana Akamanato, the diasporas and the communities, the police and armed men in military uniform stormed the venue and destabilized the gathering after picking some of the organisers. Those who were significantly lucky to escape were mortally terrorised. The palpable fears of these endless illegal arrests come from the fact that those taken may or may not return without substantial costs. The fears of such invasions by the security have been the reasons why the villagers have been unable to confront the Uwadiegwu and his known collaborators. One of the villagers stated that “the illegal detentions are scary because the compromised security men can label the victims anything to justify the absurdity. For this invasion and many more in the past Uwadiegwu was accused of using the corrupt security people to frighten those attempting to mobilise for peace and return of normalcy to Akamanato”.
Chief Edochie narrates his experience in Abuja as he intervenes in the release of the unjustly detained
An ally of Uwadiegwu, Obinna Charles Obi, Ozue n’ Aborgu, exonerated Uwadiegwu from this particular invasion. Obinna said “though the military that invaded the hall during the meeting were soldiers attached to Uwadiegwu but it was not Uwadiegwu that invited them”. According to Obinna “the soldiers are in the habit of taking their own decisions. They mobilise and come even when they were not invited”. He insisted that “those so far arrested and released cannot be blamed on Uwadiegwu because if he was the one that instructed the arrest the people must not have been released on any ground. It will be impossible for the victims to have been allowed to return home soon. For instance, Udoka Ekwue and Echete arrested in Ama-Ezedi could not have returned if it was Uwadiegwu that picked them up”. According to Obinna, “if Uwadiegwu is till arresting and wants to continue no one will be seen moving around”.
Tochukwu Nwankwo Obalim denounces roles, pledges commitment to return of normalcy in Akamanato
Ebuka Okeke, lamented the humiliating scenes and painful experiences Akamanato is passing through. According to Okeke, “nothing is so unreasonable that Nigerian soldiers are, purportedly, haunting innocent and vulnerable villagers who are making efforts to normalise their chattered lives. The traumatised villagers did nothing wrong by converging to share the experiences of their grievous pains and forge ahead in unity for the peace they have been deprived”. “Akamanato people are in dire need of return to normalcy, they are committed to stabilising their destabilised lives and communities. Those arguing that the soldiers assaulting our people were the ones attached to Uwadiegwu should be asked whether Akamanato has transformed to Afghanistan or Sambisa Forest”, he queried. For Okeke “some of you have turned Akamanato upside down. Surely, no one has anything to again if the troubles you are work very hard to stoke fester. Akamanato and indeed Ifite Nteje want peace, stability and return to normal community life and shared fraternity. The villagers are prepared to sacrifice and go every length in search of measures to ensure that peace and stability thrive in the communities. We deplore the actions of all those bent on their evil ways and taking pride in the torments and ruins of their kinsmen. We are brothers, let us abandon these dirty and abhorrent behaviours so that peace and normalcy can thrive among us”.
On his own part, Area Scatter alias Agu enye oyi blamed the unprecedented campaigns of terror and violence in Akamanato on those who opened the floodgates of land scam in the village. He insisted that “the plague of Akamanato was heralded by those who started selling village land against the provisions of Akamanato land laws. The law prohibits the sale of land in Akamanato”. Agu enye oyi noted that “griefs out of regret are the worst of all sorrows. Akamanato should not be running halter shelter for peace and stability and to get out of the self-imposed crisis, because it has the solution already. You all permitted the crisis an entry when you allowed Iru-echi family to violate the law against land sales in Akamanato. For the fact that the violation of the law neither attracted caution nor punishment, Okeleze family followed and finally the Anasi family started selling too. These families flaunted the wealth and consequently lured deeply corrupt minds into the easy wealth and having finished selling theirs and squandering the money, they ventured into land belonging to others fraudulently”. According to Agu enye oyi, “now the compromised youths that have chosen the easier road to wealth bastardised the whole situations to the extent that they scarcely cared whose land they are selling. With the easy money, they went into lavish and irrational spending spree they can no longer afford to resist”. Agu enye oyi insisted that the elders, the Oji-ana, and people he called red caps Chiefs were indictable for crimes that enveloped Akamanato with violence. These people are the cause of the crisis they are the victims and the solutions. They have the solutions and the idea of seeking interventions outside the communities are ostensibly pretentious”.
Fabian Uwadiegwu Reacts Accusations
Mr. Fabian Nnamdi Uwadiegwu Obi, revolted against the accusations that he was responsible for the illegal invasions and criminal sale of Akamanato land. He also absolves himself all the accusation of destabilisation of the communities with violence to ensure that there will never be united actions by Akamanato against him. He denied using security men to haunt the kinsmen, the killings and destructions of the properties of the villagers in order to compromise their stance against the crimes. Uwadiegwu, assured that “these accusations are the evidences of conspiracies of my multiple enemies and detractors. These people are unwilling to see the evidences of my complete innocence. They are the people playing politics with the people’s predicaments, and very indisposed to accept the truth the way it is. The politicians are politicking with the worsening situations and they are happy to shine with the involvements as solution providers. On the instructions to security to disorganise, destabilise and scatter Akamanato, my own kinsmen, the allegations are unfounded. They can never be true. I am a protector of my people. I have done so much for the general interest of Akamanato communities as one representing them in Ifite assembly”.
Uwadiegwu said, “I have gone every length to ensure that no person from Akamanato is harassed by the police or the army. I have had series of confrontations in Ifite assembly because of my stance that Akamanato people must be completely out of intimidation by the security. I have vetoed propositions by the Ifite executive to bring police to Akamanato and arrest people because I detest women coming to my house in the night with lantern to demand the whereabouts of their children”. Uwadiegwu said, “the Ember Rocket that has said a lot of unprintable things against me was a testimony the way I stood against a threat by an Ifite executive member to get him arrested.
I am stressing that those running for fear of arrest and detention by me are making big mistake. They are running in futility because I am not pursuing anyone. If I actually want to arrest and detain anyone nothing can prevent me. The question is where can anyone run to that I cannot get the person? I know the hiding places of everyone, and I know how to get whoever I want to get. So, your attempt to escape is a futility if you are my target. The greatest problem I have in Ifite is my resolve against plan to punish anyone from Akamanato. All the accusations brought against me can only trigger more security interventions and arrests in the village. May I remind you that ‘whatever you say comes back to you’, ‘whatever you say comes back to you”.
Uwadiegwu said, “the plan and my greatest priority is the good of Akamanato. I have worked and continuously working for peace, stability and progress of Akamanato village. I am confused and pained by the characters of few elements in Akamanato that do not want peace because they have a lot to gain from the crisis. These are the politicians among the people that politicise everything for personal interest. We must unite to get things right. Unity is our strength. I am fully committed to peace and measures for stabilisation of the communities in Akamanato and Ifite in general”.
Ogene Ifite, however, noted that “every emphasis on peace, unity, stability, protection and fraternal care by Uwadiegwu in his statements are twice grossly contracted by his stance. He says the opposite and lies a lot. Of course, the statements are natural self-absolution. He has no remorse because he has lost the capacity to feel what others are feeling. He seemed to have been driven to the point where human passion no longer exists in him. Is he not working relentlessly to ensure that Akamanato does not gather for the purposes of taking cooperate decisions and activate solutions to live in peace? The thinking is that such gathering can lead to his ultimate indictment in the illegal sales of community land and diversions of such funds”.
For this reason, Ogene said, Uwadiegwu “uses the acquired police and military connections to fiercely attack all those committed to moves for peace in Akamanato. Nnamdi Obi Chikendu, Engr. Tony Akwue, Tony Anasi, Brownson Ginikanwa have been injuriously incarcerated allegedly through the instrumentality of Uwadiegwu. These champions of peace and stability of Akamanato have at various times humiliated and detained for calling a stop to Uwadiegwu’s mischievous crusades of violence in Akamanato”.
According to Ogene, once at a meeting in the village hall, Uwadiegwu allegedly brought the DSS, that took Engr. Akwue and Chikendu away. Initially, the police said they were taking them to the nearest police station for questioning but that was not the case. The police took the duo to Abuja where they were detained. When the police invaded the hall and took the men away in the midst of the elders, the Oji-ana and the gathering of the villagers, the meeting became destabilised as everyone scampered for safely. And some that took bold initiatives to follow up to the nearest police station in solidarity to the arrested officials were attacked and beaten by thugs allegedly sent by Uwadiegwu. Sunday Obi Chikendu, the younger brother to Nnamdi Chikendu was thoroughly beaten as he was seen soaked in blood among many who were injured. Eventually, Uwadiegwu frustrated the efforts of Akamanato in the rescue of the two men”.
According Odogwu Nna ya, “nothing is really clear about Uwadiegwu’s stress on the indispensability of peace. He messed up the village with illogical violence, the villagers are discontented and he clearly understood the consequences of the people coming together to reclaim both their peace and the land. Can it be he wanted peace and stability in the village in his terms? Akamanato people want peace in their own terms. A meeting was convoked in December 2022. It was a gathering of all the indigenes home and abroad. The agendas of the well-attended meeting rose and fell on the need for peace, reconciliation and a way forward from the self-inflicted crisis. The organisers of the meeting invited everyone including Uwadiegwu and his proxies who are members of the village”. According to Odogwu, “there was a promise of amnesty and fraternal reconciliations. All those indicted in the scam were given olive branches. The meeting was started with Holy Mass preceded over by Rev. Fr. Abadogwu, an indigene of the village. Part of an argument for the reconciliation was that it is irrational to cut off a child’s feet for stepping into a mess”.
Hon. Brownson Ginikanwa harps on reconciliation
Odogwu noted that “there were categorically concrete plans to exonerated anyone involved in the scam that displayed remorse. They standard argument for reabsorption of the mistaken members was that children do not sell land belonging to communities, therefore, those who were scammed in the land were the unscrupulous and the covetous. Despite the allurements in offers, Uwadiegwu and his proxies vehemently opposed the meeting. His proxies orchestrated fierce wars of verbal attacks on the organisers of the reconciliation meeting. According to the opponents of the reconciliation moves, “the meeting must end in futility and nothing must come out of the charade. They antagonised and campaigned that resolving the crisis through the planned dialogue and reconciliation were like futile attempts to bridge the Atlantic”.
Engr. Tony Akwue
Ugoh noted that “the anti-reconciliation group changed to active threats of violence when they discovered that the villagers were absolutely unwilling to be compromised by the antics of those, they considered public enemies. The threats that blood must flow and village set on fire fell on the deaf ears”. Ugoh said “the warming for everyone to desert the village to avoid an impeding carnage was deflated by the commitment to the meeting. A part of the proves that they meant the threat was that Hon. Brownson Ginikanwa, the champion of the dialogue was picked DSS three days to the meeting. He was allegedly taken to Force Headquarters Abuja. It took the interventions of every well-intentioned member of the village to rescue him”. According to Ugoh, “bringing Hon. Brownson back from the illegal detention in Abuja costs the villagers millions of naira in various bribes, supposedly, to the police in Abuja”. Ugoh insisted thar “the preoccupations of Akamanato indigenes are finding ways of convincing Uwadiegwu to relent. He has obligation to understand that no one has what it takes to bully a crowd. The crowds of Akamanato communities have been infuriated, the elastic patience is over-stretched but not overwhelmed. He must be reminded that there is no retribution for the death of someone murdered by his people”.
Chief Jerry Nwakobi, Orimili Atata, addresses Akamanato, speaks on the need for return of normalcy in Akamanato
Challenging the infuriating distraction of Uwadiegwu to the various options for return of normalcy to the village, Ikenna Nwekenchi counselled Uwadiegwu calm down, arguing that “a single tree does not make a forest no matter how unique. According to Ikenna, “it is difficult to understand the reason for the assumption that you Nnamdi Uwadiegwu can afford to stand on the way of collective decisions of Akamanato in the resolution of crisis that ruined both lives and properties in the village”. To Uwadiegwu he admonished “if the propositions so far adduced by the people for achieving peace and restoration of normalcy are not enough or unworkable you have the privilege of suggesting an alternative. Let it be clear to you that Akamanato is committed to all the processes capable of giving it the atmospheres it deserves. The people have decidedly mobilised against the irrational crisis that gradually grounded normal life in the various communities”. We, as a people are on the match to trace and seal the dark holes that threw Akamanato into fratricidal violence. The violence that has caused many lives, ruined joy and destroyed properties of an unquantifiable magnitude cannot continue. We are committed to our objectives of confronting the challenges head-on. The idea that Akamanato cannot achieve anything as it matches on for peace except through Ifite is farce. Nothing is as untruthful as this statement. We have all it takes to succeed without Ifite. More so, Ifite has asked every village to manage their affairs and source solutions to their peculiar issues”, Ikenna said.
According to Ikenna, “Orukabi, Agwa and Amansi have all gone home to work their way out of their challenges. Is it not an absolute irresponsibility for you to drag us back to Ifite. It is obvious you are opposed to peace in Akamanato. You opposed the plans for invalidations of oaths sworn forcefully by a number of people which you know is a channel leading to resolution of the crisis. What do you want? You seemed to have forgotten that Akamanato is a home of great people, people you are literally unworthy to untie their straps”.
To Uwadiegwu, Ikenna said “the way you belittle people and admonitions given to you cannot be in your interest. To me you are deliberately racing to peril. I know you well, you are my younger brother. Imagine the damages done the day security invaded Akamanato meeting in the midst of all the village authorities. The elders and the Oji-ana were all humiliated. Imagine the feelings of these old men and anger against you. The Bible enjoined us to respect our elders so that our days may be long. Whatever is your defence against the police invasions, all accusing fingers are on you rightly or wrongly. We have all waited for your option for peace and reconciliation to no avail. No one is against you; we are all against circumstances that brought pain and sorrows to our people. All the human causalities in the Ifite crisis were from Akamanato, this is bad. It should bother you particularly that your own brother, flesh and blood, Udoka, perished in the crisis. Our emphasis in the efforts to move forward in the search of peace cannot be targeted at you. We want restoration of normalcy and brotherliness that endured until this unprecedented crisis”. “Brother, calm down. We are not politicking; we are on course to peace and restoration of normal life in Akamanato. We have been altogether in this village we know one another, what is this bragging displayed by your attitude against collective decisions of Akamanato, Ikenna asked.
Nnaemeka Chieji, Mekit, decried the crisis in Akamanato stating that “it is unheard of that our village has been ruined by illogical violence to the point that our men and women are assaulted daily by ceaseless invasions of military men. We are today haunted and incarcerated for committing no crime. To think of Akamanato being terrorised this way beats my imagination”. According to Nnaemeka, “the need for strategy that brings and sustains peace, stability and normalcy in Akamanato is an inevitable priority. I had a raw experience of how messy life has become in Akamanato when I visited home for the burial of my father, January 2021. Suddenly, the whole village was like inflamed, everybody was running for safety men, women and children. There was a hysterical crying and shouting, the lamentations were overwhelming. It was an invasion by the military. At first, I ignored the warning that I may either be killed or taken away if don’t run along with others until the soldiers numbering more than fifteen and heavily armed matched towards our compound and made straight towards me, that was when it was clear that I was in danger of being harmed. Intuitively, I stepped back and tactically towards the back of our house and glided over the deep gully that separates Umuanugwa and Umuobindo taking an advantage of the knowledge of the terrain for a successful escape”. As I run towards the house of Cyril Nwankwo Chieze, he too and all others joined the race for survival as the soldiers uncompromisingly pursued us, said Nnaemeka.
I kept running until the feeling of sense of security as I approached Igirige’s compound. It was there I hid myself and came out when the danger was assumed to have gone. My submission is that it is impossible for us to continue this way”. Nnaemeka recommended that “more practical actions to stop this ravaging evil must start, there is no alternative to peace and restoration of normal life to Akamanato communities. The situation has challenged us to wake up from the slumber. We cannot continue to give these few the impression that they can overwhelm us. A wake-up bell has been sounded it is clearer that the task of putting our houses in order has begun. This is a call to duty. It is irresponsible not to act now because the eagle has perched for easy catch”.
To be continued