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Anambra CSOs Condemn Aguleri/Umueri Crisis, As Govt Sets Up Mediation Panel

Awka – Anambra Civil Society Network (ACSONET) has condemned in strongest terms, the current crisis between Aguleri and Umueri Communities both in Anambra East LGA of the State, which has so far left two persons dead and many injured.

The latest crisis, which was as a result of an age-long land dispute between both communities, started Saturday night.

A heavy presence of Army and Police personnel had been reported in the area in a bid to quell the violence and maintain law and order.

Speaking with TNC correspondent in Awka on Monday, the ACSONET Chairman, Prince Chris Azor, who is also the Citizens’ Co-Chair, Open Government Partnership (OGP) in the State, implored indigenes of the two communities to eschew all forms of violence and pursue peace option towards settling their grievances and differences.

According to him, both communities should be mindful of their age-long ties of affinity and brotherhood.

“We want to appeal to the traditional rulers and leaders of both communities, as well as the entire Omambala stakeholders, to convoke peacebuilding and conflict resolution dialogue meetings, that would engender sustainable peaceful coexistence in the affected Communities. All stakeholders are enjoined to key into the State government’s intervention efforts,, through the Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, and ensure cessation of hostilities,” he said.

Azor further reminded the people that escalation of the crisis may adversely affect lives and livelihoods of their people, more so during this COVID-19 pandemic and its debilitating social and economic challenges.

He further disclosed that members of the Network are already assisting in peacebuilding, resilience and rehabilitation efforts in the affected communities, applauding the State Police Command for the timely intervention and swift response towards restoring normalcy in the area.

Meanwhile, Anambra State Government will on Tuesday inaugurate a 15-member Committee to look into the boundary dispute between Aguleri and Umuleri, with a 3-week period to conclude its assignment.

The committee has as its chairman, Air Vice-Marshal Ben Chiobi and the Permanent Secretary, office of the Secretary to the State Government as Secretary.

 Also among members of the committee are Dr Mrs  Uju Nworgu, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Bonaventure Enemali, Commissioner for Lands, Barrister Chike Maduekwe, Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board and others.

A statement by the Chief of Staff to the state governor, Chief Primus Odili, said the committee has as its terms of reference, “to establish the immediate cause of the dispute between the two communities, that occurred on Saturday, 16th January, 2021, between Aguleri and Umuleri.”

“The committee is also expected to 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,” the statement said.

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