The Deputy Governors of Imo and Abia States, Prince Eze Madumere and Rt. Hon. Udeh Chukwu respectively have called on two disputing communities of Umuhu-Ofe-Iyi autonomous community of Umuahia North local government area and their sister community of Umudibia-Umuoma autonomous communities of Ihitte-Uboma local government area of Imo and Abia States respectively to embrace peace for the sake of progress.
They deputy governors of the sister States made the call during a joint peace meeting of the disputing communities at disputing land near Imo river this afternoon.
The Deputy Governor of Imo State in his advice called on the communities involved in the disputes to embrace dialogue, insisting they can achieve a lasting peace if only they can come together as brothers with an open mind to discuss. “There is no guarantee that we secure peace even if the National Boundary Commission should come tomorrow to delineate the boundary. We should be ready to engage one another in a dialogue with an open mind. It is only this that can give a sustainable peace and progress. In your testimonies, you acknowledge the fact that you are relations since you marry one another. I charge you, especially the traditional leaders and other leaders to embrace this and be ready to make concessions”; he submitted.
He wondered why a people that have been together for many years could engage in almost irretrievable skirmishes as he reminded them of their history of having been living together, inter-marrying and standing up together to fight common enemies. He stressed that creation of Abia State, which was an integral part of old Imo State is just for mere administrative convenience.
The deputy governor of Imo State however invoke a resolution made two years ago on the said land that the parties involved should seize from engaging in economic or any activities that could throw up crisis in among the communities.
Earlier, the Deputy Governor of Abia State, Rt. Hon. Ude Chukwu regretted the unfriendly approach of the said communities involved in the disputes that have continued unabated.
He narrated the mature manner other States with similar boundary matters have handled themselves with less rowdiness despite the fact they were not as closely related as Abia and Imo States.
He emphasized the need for the affected communities to come together and chart a course of peace for the sake of safe-guiding against crises that may lead to total breakdown of law and order.
He however commended the security agencies especially the police for their effort in ensuring there has not been total breakdown of law and order or even loss of lives.
He sought the understanding of the communities involved since they are closely knit related by marriage to the extent they established lineage of generations.
He admonished them to avoid any action that may bring about eternal regrets while the governments of the sister States in concert with them and the National Boundary Commission find a lasting solution to the boundary issues.
Meanwhile, traditional rulers of the communities involved took the stage to speak on historical connections of the land to solidify their claim of ownership.
Some of them who spoke were HRH, Eze Philip Ajomiwe from Umuahia North of Abia State, HRH, Eze Ukachukwu Onuoha of Ihitte-Uboma local government area of Imo State among others.