Scores of women from Nkerehi community in the Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State on Thursday protested against alleged threat to their lives by a governorship aspirant from the area and the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Kenneth Maduka.
The protesters, who converged on the Anambra State Government House, wore black clothes.
They also carried placards with different inscriptions accusing the two men of intimidation and harassment.
The leader of the protesters, Dr Maureen Igwike, said residents lived in fear in the community, adding that their only crime was their refusal to agree with the decision of the duo to change the name of the community.
She said, “Initially, we thought the problem was only between the men. But recently, we started experiencing all forms of violence perpetrated by Maduka against our women.
“On January 7, this year, they came to look for my husband. But when they didn’t see him, they took me to an unknown destination and started beating me.
“We are calling on the government to come to our aid because we are no longer safe in that community. Our women and children are at rigi
Addressing the protesters, the Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Legal Matters, Vera Okonkwo, commended the protesters for their peaceful conduct.
She said, “I was moved when I saw women crying and wearing black. Governor Obiano is a man of peace and he doesn’t allow intimidation. I assure you that he will hear everything and take action.”
When contacted, the monarch, Maduka, said the allegations against him were fueled by envy and jealousy by some members of the community.
He said, “The issue at hand is not just about the change of name, but an age-long hatred for the aspirant, through whom the community has seen the light.
“What you saw in Awka was just one of the antics of this group of people who do not wish our community to progress.
“But despite all the wrongdoings against me and my brother, we are willing to embrace them as brothers in the best interest of the community. We call on the government to look critically into the matter to unravel the real truth.”