Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Three communities in Rivers State yesterday stormed the Elele Army Barracks Protesting over alleged forceful acquisition of hectares of their land by the Nigerian Military.
The three communities, Elele Alimini, Obelle in Emohua Local Government Area and Elele Town in Ikwerre LGA alleged that the Nigerian military has taken over portion of land running into 500 hectares of land without the knowledge of the communities.
The aggrieved residents of the communities, who barricaded the entrance to the Elele barracks, although later dispersed by military men, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the military to leave their land which they use for agricultural purposes.
Speaking, the Chairman Council of Chiefs of Elele Alimini, who led the protest, Chief Chibuike Dike said, “The problem is that the army barracks in our land have abandoned our boundary and encroached into our land.
“They are not meant to take our land by force. If they need land they should negotiate with the people. They have taken over 500 hectares of land. That place is our farm land. We want them to leave our land.
“What they have done is affecting the farming activity of our people. We do not have any other place to do our farm work. Let them take the area we gave to them and leave the other side.
Dike, however, called on the Nigerian Senate and the House of Representatives to intervene in the matter.
Meanwhile, all attempts made to get the Nigerian Army to comment on the development proved abortive as all the calls made to the line of the Leut Sokoya, the 2 Brigade Deputy Army Public Relations were not picked or returned.
A text message detailing the information was also sent to his phone, but he didn’t reply