Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The traditional ruler of Omor Community in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State Igwe Dr Oranu Chris Chidume (Eze Ana-Ukwu, Eze Igulube) has condemned the abduction, killings and destruction of property in a clash between farmers at Lower Anambra Irrigation Project in the community.
The Igwe said that the people of Omor and Umumbo communities are not at war as reported in the media but that the crisis arose from farmers at the clusters of E71, E72, E8, E9 and E10 who were contesting over allocations of farmland.
The traditional ruler said in a statement: “The crisis was between farmers from Omor and Umumbo extractions. These farmers were at the clusters of the developed areas of the Lower Anambra Irrigation Project (LAIP) who had issues over farmland allocations at the cluster.
“This matter came to my knowledge in January 2019 personally took it upon myself to ensure the problem was nipped in the bud by raising a committee from Omor Royal Cabinet to mediate in the matter and ensure the issue did not snowball into a major crisis. With that and other preventive measures we took, we were confident the matter had been resolved.
“Unfortunately, I only got to know that the matter was still on when, on May 5 2020, we received reports of the fresh crisis resulting in abduction, killings and destruction of properties. Sadly, lives have been lost, some people are still missing while some sustained different degrees of injuries and properties destroyed during the skirmishes,” he stated.
Igwe Chidume, who maintained that human life is sacred, admonished the indigenes of Omor and Umumbo to desist from any further action that will breach law and order in the communities.
He asked the people to always seek redress for their grievances using appropriate channels and legal process rather than resort to violence.
The monarch, however, appealed to the Government of Anambra State to look into the root cause(s) of the matter to determine the issues surrounding the allocations, streamline the relationship between the host communities and the Lower Anambra Irrigation Project (LAIP) and find a lasting sustainable solution to the crisis.