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CSOs, others seek peaceful resolution of Anambra communal clashes


By Okechukwu Onuegbu

Some stakeholders in Anambra state have sued for peace among the three warring communities, Aguleri, Umueri and Umuoba Anam in Anambra East Local Government Area, where a land dispute had claimed about two lives aside loss of valuable properties.

Reacting to the communal clashes, the Anambra Civil Society Network (ACSONET) a platform for Citizens and Non State Actors, in a release signed by its Chairman, Prince Chris Azor, implored the communities to eschew all forms of violence and pursue peace towards resolving their grievances. 

“We call on the traditional rulers and leaders of both communities, as well as the entire Omambala stakeholders, to convoke peace building and conflict resolution dialogue meetings, that would engender sustainable peaceful coexistence in the affected Communities.

“We further remind the people that escalation of the crisis may adversely affect lives and livelihoods of our people, more so during this COVID-19 pandemic and its debilitating social and economic challenges. Our members are already assisting in peace building, resilience and rehabilitation efforts in the affected communities,” ACSONET enthused.

Also speaking, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial Aspirant on Anambra 2021 poll, Mr Valentine Ozigbo urged quick intervention of authorities in resolving the impasse because according to him, it was entirely condemnable. 

"Violence never solves the problem; it only makes things worse. As Ndi Anambra, a hurt to one of us is hurt to all of us. What we need now is proactive leadership at the state level to intervene by deescalating the conflict and deploying solutions to bring lasting peace to our brothers and sisters in these communities. 

"Community conflict in Anambra, and indeed Nigeria, should be made to be a thing of the past. Progressive societies have moved beyond conflict into co-operation. Ndi Anambra must evolve. We should be coming together to leverage our collective strength for progress," Ozigbo admonished.

On his part, the member representing Ekwusigo, Nnewi north and Nnewi South Federal constituency, Engr. Chris Emeka Azubogu, posited that destruction of lives and properties as a result of land disputes was inhumane. 

"We are a republican people by nature who resolve disputes through community meetings; not war. Killings and destruction of properties reduces our humanity and going forward, we should shun both as means of conflict resolution,” Azubodu maintained.

To Dr Tony Nwoye, the immediate past member representing Anambra East and Anambra West federal constituency, the warring communities should sheath their swords to avoid a repeat of what happened in the area in 1999 that led to loss of many lives and others.

“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. 

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