Awba-Ofemili Monarch cries out over boundary dispute with Ibite-Olo in Enugu State

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By Benjamin Ogbuagu  :

Awba-Ofemili (Awka-North LGA), June 20, 2020 (MOI) Traditional Ruler of Awba-Ofemili, Awka-North Local Government Area (LGA), Igwe Ezekwesili Maduagwuna has drawn attention of Anambra State Government to looming inter-communal crisis.

The brewing crisis is between his community, Awba-Ofemili community and Ibite-Olo in Ezeagu LGA of Enugu State.

Igwe Maduagwu said he was pleading with Anambra Government to intervene in order to avert the looming disastrous situation, if there was an outbreak of hostilities between the two communities.

The Traditional Ruler made the plea in his palace, while receiving the Executive Secretary, Anambra State Boundary Committee, Mr Jude Okoli, who was on a fact-finding mission to the community.

The two communities had been involved in inter-state boundary dispute that had adversely affected socio-economic lives of people of the area.

According to Igwe Maduagwuna my people are now living in fear because of incessant harassments as well as Police arrests instigated by people of Ibite-Olo, who have been encroaching into our land.

“We are an agrarian community. We are predominantly rice farmers in Awba-Ofemili and over the past three years, my people have not farmed because of activities of our neighbours from Ibite-Olo.

“This is because we have been respecting our government’s directive to maintain peace.

“This is affecting the living condition of my people, whose only source of livelihood is farming.

“This is capable of resulting to an upsurge in crime; my people are hungry and are being prevented from farming on our land.’’

Igwe Maduagwuna noted that part of resolutions signed by Deputy Governors of Anambra and Enugu States was that no commercial farmer, investors or developers should operate on the disputed area pending permanent demarcation of the boundary by the National Boundary Commission (NBC).

“I have a copy of the resolution by the two states here. Unfortunately, while my community is abiding by terms of the resolution, our neighbours keep bringing investors into the land.

“I do not know how much longer I can hold off my people, especially the youths, who are getting increasingly restive.’’

Mr Jude Okoli thanked the traditional ruler for mature manner that he had been handling the matter, assuring him: “Government is on top of the situation.

“The Deputy Governor is concerned about what is happening here and he is mounting pressures on NBC to conclude the demarcation exercise.

“He sent us here to to physically observe the situation on ground.’’

Mr Okoli, then, urged the community not to resort to unlawful means in settling the issues with their neighbours, so as not to sabotage efforts of the state Government. (MOI)