- Women from Amagu community in Ebonyi state protested over the arrest of their husbands and sons
- Government officials in the area had alerted the police on alleged illegal mining which led to arrest of some people
- The arrest triggered a protest by the youths of the community and further escalated into a clash
Women made up of the young and elderly from Amagu community, Abakaliki local government area of Ebonyi state on Tuesday, December 5, took to the streets to protest the arrest of their husbands and sons by the police, Premium Times reports.
NAIJ.com gathered that the residents of Amagu and some government officials in the area have been at loggerheads over lead mineral deposit in the community.
It was reported that some members of the community were said to be mining the lead without license from the federal or state government.
However some government officials in the area alerted the police on the alleged illegal mining which led to arrest of six people.
This development triggered protest by youth of the area who prevented the police from leaving with the arrested persons, which led to a clash between the youth and the officers.
Another account states that the police mobilised its officers and arrested over 30 members of the community earlier in the day.
The women numbering over 2,000 were loaded in trucks from the community to Abakaliki where they marched round some major roads in the capital city to Abakaliki local government headquarters.
When they gathered at Nkaliki road junction the women had palm fronds on their faces, waists and other parts of their bodies marched to register their anger over the arrest.
A team of police officers in over six hilux vans who blocked them on the road tried to stop them.
When they got to the entrance gate of the local government, they tried pulling it down as it was shut by the security officers.
Police officers fired teargas on the women to disperse them.
Nwofoke Blessing, one of the protesters, speaking with journalists, said: “We are here to tell the council chairman that we are not happy the way our husbands and sons are arrested. We are telling him to release our husbands and sons.”
“Since yesterday morning they have been arresting our youths and husbands, even my husband was also arrested.
“This morning, they came back with seven hilux vans and continued the arrest of our youths and husbands. We were having meeting in our play ground when they came in and arrested our people there.
“This is why we the women came out to see our council chairman, but police blocked us. We succeeded in coming to the local government to tell the chairman to release all our people. The problem is lead(mineral deposit) issue. Some government officials want to ‘carry’ all the mineral deposits without us benefiting and our youth said no that we are members of the community who should be carried along."
The senior special adviser to the governor on internal security, Kenneth Ugbala, addressing the women, assured them that the state government will look into the problem and resolve it amicably.
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Earlier, NAIJ.com reported that hundreds of women in Ugaga community in Yala local government area of Cross River state on Thursday, November 9, took to the streets to demand that herdsmen leave their area.
The Nation reports that the women carried leaves as they chanted ''Fulani Must Go.'' One of them said: "The herdsmen should be relocated far away from our community.
Security should also be beefed up at the boundary areas to secure our lives."
Ebonyi state, Nigeria and West Africa's food capital on NAIJ.com TV.