Aguleri, Umuleri Disagree Over Obiano’s Role in Averting Another War

Umuleri indigenes have accused Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano who is also from Aguleri of not doing much to ensure a lasting peace between them and their brothers, Aguleri.

Both communities who are believed to be related had in 1998 and 1999 been involved in a fierce war over ownership of land, with both communities laying claims to a section of the local government known as Otuocha.
The civil conflict had attracted the presence of the then president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who wept over the quantum of destruction that happened within the period.
A community leader and Special Adviser on special duties to the President General of Umuleri, Chief Mike Aniegboka told www.Elekenews.com in an interview that Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano has not done anything to foster unity between both communities.
But in a separate interview, Chief Ralph Igwa, a onetime National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ had told www.elekenews.com that Governor Obiano has appointed a good number of Umuleri Indigenes in his government as a way of appeasing and accommodating them.
Aniegboka on his part argues that it was not true. He said, “He has not done anything for us to resolve the matter. As far as we know, he has not done anything to resolve the matter. We have also tried to send a delegation to him, but it did not work.
“We see him as our governor, he has even done a road for us here, and has promised to do a hospital for us, but nothing has been done so far to foster peace among the two communities.”
Aniegboka said contrary to Obiano’s silence in resolving the problem between both communities, Umuleri people believe that if their son became governor, the first thing he will visit within three months in office is to ensure that a lasting peace brokered.
“The people of Umuleri feel that if Umuleri man becomes the governor tomorrow, the first thing he will talk about is the peace between Umuleri and Aguleri. But we are not seeing it.
“Instead, what he did was to acquire our land, Agu Akor land owned by Umuleri and paid joint compensation to Umuleri and Aguleri, and Aguleri who are not the owners of the land took 75 per cent, leaving 25 per cent to Umuleri, and of course we rejected it.
“We have been writing to show that we don’t own that land together with Aguleri, the document is here, the Nnaemeka Agu judgment too, shows  that we own the land alone.”
Aniegboka also said that contrary to insinuations that the governor has been appointing umuleri sons into his government as a sign to appease them, he cannot remember if any Umuleri man is in Obiano’s cabinet.
Igwa had told www.elekenews.com in an interview that the governor had helped to foster unity among the two hitherto warring communities.
He added that peace had returned to the area, following a peace agreement that saw to the equitable sharing of the area in dispute among both communities.
Aniegboka insisted that no strong resolution has been reached as Aguleri indigenes have taken over Otuocha and had already started building in Agu Akor, which is owned exclusively by them.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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