National Union of Nkanu students in Enugu state, on Wednesday, staged a protest against what they called ‘unproveked and unlawful destruction of their economic crops,” by a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Rev. Fr. Jude Igbonekwu
The group said they were offered 25 plots of land by a good spirited Nkanu man upon their request to seek means of survival while contributing their quota towards local food production.
Narrating their ordeal, the national President of the Organization, Comrade Kenneth Ani said “We got news from locals of wanton stealing going on in our plantation and dashed to see the level of damage done, just to realize that a large part of the Farm has been razed by fire and severe damages as fencing structures are been erected on the farm site”
“We entered the construction and demanded immediate cease of work and they got us talking to the proposed owner – Fr. Jude Igbonekwu”
Speaking to our correspondent, the spokesperson of the association, Comrade Chukwuebuka Ogbodo, remarked that Fr. Jude Igbonekwu had earlier declined to their request for dialogue.
“He blutntly told us to go to hell and do anything we want to do.
“Sequel to these unfruitful dialogues, we as enterprising and law abiding students resorted to writing to the Catholic Bishop of Enugu and also engaging
the Police. It is sad to note that the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, has not replied us as at the time of seeking this intervention”
According to Comrade Ogbodo, the intervention of the Police as at Tuesday was not satisfactory to them as it culminated to severe threats from the clergy and imminent insecurity on their end as students.
“We want payment for our damaged Cassava Plantation. We are not dragging land with the Priest as been speculated. We spent heavily our time, resources and money in the course of the farming and following due process to avoid violence from countless angry Nkanu Students whose sweats are on the line of waste”
Displaying placards with various inscriptions, the protesters described the invasion of their farm as “wicked, callous and illegal”.
They however decried the “huge economic loss” resulting from the destruction of their cassava plantation and called on Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi led administration to urgently intervene.