SOME serving policemen, retired police officers and their wives, yesterday protested alleged attempt to eject them from their residential quarters by people who claimed to be working for the National Inland Waterworks Authority
The protesting retired and serving policemen and their wives blocked and barricaded Niger Street in protest against the plot to eject them from their residential quarters on Niger Street, Onitsha, Anambra State, where they have lived for over 20 years.
The protesters did not carry placards but they used tyres and a car to block the road, thereby preventing free vehicular movement along Niger Street, Fegge Onitsha. They sang songs such as “We no go gree, we no go gree, this is not NEWA property;’ ‘Ngozi you are not a NEWA staff and you cannot sack us from here;’ and ‘Nobody can sack us from our residential quarters allocated to us over 20 years ago.’
One of the protesters and a retired officer, Mr. George Umana said that they woke up to see some workers and one of them who identified himself as an engineer accompanied by some armed policemen told them that he was directed to come and fence their quarters. “We have a fence that is not up to one month old and they are coming here to put another fence inside an existing fence.
The place is not NEWA property but a house built by the Federal Government.” He alleged that “somebody wanted to use the back door to forcefully eject the policemen from a barrack allocated to them by government. “The building was formerly National Republican Convention, NRC, party house built by the government of Ibrahim Babangida but was abandoned before the building was given to the Independent National Electoral Commision, INEC, which later relocated and the building was allocated to the Police in Fegge Division as an extension of their residential quarters.” A retired Police officer, Mr. Malachy Nnamdi wondered why they wanted to eject the officers and retired men and their families living in the barrack without due consultation and necessary documents.
“If they have sold this place, it is proper for them to give us time to move out our families instead of trying to forcefully eject us through fencing this place and closing the entrance gate, a tactical way of ejecting us from this place without notice. “We are over 40 families living here. Some of us are retired officers while others are still serving officers,” he said. The Station Officer of Fegge Division was approached for comments but he declined and referred newsmen to the Divisional Police Officer in charged of Fegge Police Station.
When Vanguard visited Fegge Police Station to see the DPO, Mr. Rabiu Garba, he was said to have gone to Awka Police Headquarters for a conference. Efforts to get to the DPO on phone was not successful as all the calls put across to him at the time of filling this report were not connecting.