ARMED youths believed to be land-grabbers stormed a prayer ground in Umudioka in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State and beat one Pastor Kenechukwu Nebeolisa and some prayer warriors comatose.
Traditionally land disputes have been a big part of Nigeria and communities are regularly involved in spats, that sometimes get very ugly. Over the weekend, prayer warriors gathered at a prayer ground in Umudioka to pray for the resolution of a local land dispute, which did not go down with several of the parties involved.
Apparently, the hoodlums attacked the prayer ground and beat up the prayer warriors for allegedly invoking the wrath of God on them. Pastor Nebeolisa had invited the prayer warriors to the community to ward off all manner of evils, including land-grabbing, intimidation, harassment, robbery and thug activities in the community.
In the middle of the vigil some armed youths stormed the prayer ground and beat everybody there to a pulp, for invoking God’s wrath on them. Pastor Nnebolisa said: “They said I did not take permission from them before inviting the prayer warriors to curse them, that as those in charge of the youths in Ezi-Awka, I must take permission from them.
“Those youths have been going about extorting money, beating up people and taking over their land. The last time they met me at Aguoye Hills, they beat the hell out of me. I reported the case to the chairman and the secretary of the Ezi-Awka Youth Assembly and also to the chairman of the board of trustees for necessary action.”
Ikechukwu Ezenwa, the chairman of the Ezi- Awka Town Assembly said he had received several reports against the clandestine activities of the group, who even claim to be the elected executive of the Ezi-Awka Youth Assembly. He added that a town crier, Mr Ozoanadimkanyi, was brutally beaten up, his house ransacked and his tenants robbed by the land-grabbers.