ANAMBRA State Government, yesterday, extended the three-day curfew imposed on Aguleri, Umueri and Umuoba – Anam towns by additional six days.
According to the Secretary to Anambra State Government, Solo Chukwulobelu, the three-day curfew which is from 7pm to 7am daily, imposed on Saturday, 16th January, 2021 which was to end on Monday, 18th January, 2021, has been extended, and will last until Sunday, 24th January, 2021.
He said that: “Governor Willie Obiano has been very pro-active in managing this conflict. The curfew imposition and joint security patrol in the affected communities are among the measures which have helped to de-escalate the situation…”
Professor Chukwulobelu said that the state government is desirous of maintaining peace across all Anambra communities, and cautioned residents of the affected communities to strictly obey the curfew order as violators will be prosecuted
Also, Governor Obiano, yesterday, set up a 15-man committee to establish the immediate causes of the dispute between Aguleri and Umuleri communities, and make recommendations to the state government within three weeks.
Among the committee’s terms of reference are: To establish the immediate cause of the dispute between the two communities, that occurred on Saturday, 16th January,2021, between Aguleri and Umuleri, invite and interview the families that own the lands in dispute, establish the boundaries between Aguleri and Umuleri as a whole and recommend other possible solutions that will guarantee lasting peace in the area and
Among the members of the committee to be sworn in today as announced by Chief of Staff to the Governor of Anambra State,Chief Primus Odili, are :Air Vice Marshal Ben Chiobi (Chairman ), Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the State Government ( Secretary), Dr Mrs Uju Nworgu, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Bonaventure Enemali, Commissioner for Lands, Barrister Chike Maduekwe, Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Chinedu Aniagboso, Chief Security Officer to the Governor, Chief Ajoku, Retired Survey General , Ezeudo Dr. Michael Idigo, Eze Aguleri, Okebo Ben Emeka, Igwe Umuleri Okebo, President General of Aguleri , President General of Umuleri, Youth Leader of Aguleri, Youth Leader of Umuleri and Transition Committee Chairman of Anambra East Local Government Area.
Members of the Committee will be sworn in on Tuesday, 19th January 2021 by His Excellency, Dr. NkemOkeke, Deputy Governor of Anambra State at the Deputy Governor’s Conference Hall. Time is 11am.
Meanwhile, former gubernatorial candidate for All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Tony Nwoye has called on the two brotherly communities of Umueri and Aguleri to sheath their swords and avoid escalations of violent confrontations that may lead to another fratricidal war capable of destabilising the largely agrarian Omambala region with a potential spur of security and humanitarian challenges into other parts of the state.
Nwoye, pained by the renewed hostilities between the two neighbouring communities over land ownership rights advised that the Anambra East and largely Omambala area cannot afford to be a theatre of another fratricidal war as witnessed in 1999, which led to so much bloodshed, destruction of properties, economic ruins and breaking of love bond between two brothers, which regrettably, retrogressed the area in economic, human and infrastructural development when compared to other zones.
He said: “I am deeply pained with the news of renewed violent confrontation and hostilities between few persons from Umueri and Aguleri yet again, a situation, which if not properly and promptly arrested, would jeopardise the peace, stability and economic development of not only the affected area, but the entire state at large.”
“I therefore call on my brothers from both sides to completely eschew and reject any form of armed/violent resolution of the land dispute between them and embrace peaceful dialogue as one and only way of resolving any issue,” Nwoye advised.
Still pained by the reports of crisis in igweship, town union leadership disputes and inter/intra community rifts that have dotted some parts of the state, the medical doctor noted that the renewal of the Aguleri—Umuleri confrontation and hostilities, as well as other pockets of crisis in royal stools, community leadership disputes, inter/intra communal rifts in some parts of the state demand that all hands must be on deck.
“All different stakeholders, opinion moulders, security agencies, religious and traditional leaders, as well as Anambra State Government serving as an intervening variable to maintaining dispassionate balance and peace-making amongst the conflicting parties must get to the roots of these conflicts and treat them fairly and squarely, maka odinma Anambra,” he said.
Finally, Nwoye called on all well meaning and peace-loving people of Umueri and Aguleri to rise above the temptations of war as a means of conflict resolutions, especially in view of the horrendous experiences of the past wars.
“The communities should embrace peace and dialogue as the only non-destructive pathway to peaceful coexistence, unity and progress. Udo ka mma!” he added.