From George Onyejiuwa,Owerri
Archbishop emeritus of Owerri Catholic Archdiocese, Anthony Obinna, has admonished Igbo to check rising violence in the South East.
He gave the advice at the funeral Mass of Eze Pius Muforo, traditional ruler of Aborshi Izombe Autonomous Community in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo.
He said if not checked, the culture of violence with attendant killings and destruction of property would adversely affect development of Igbo people.
The Prelate who spoke against the backdrop of insecurity in Izombe which has resulted to many residents fleeing their homes for about two months said peace is key to development.
Obinna who said he was personally pained over the turn of events in Izombe, described the community as strategic in Igboland.
“I started hearing the name of the community because of so many good things here before I was ordained priests and bishop.
“Before, I was not hearing bad news in Izombe, but today, a lot of negative news are coming out here and I urge you to be more wise,” he said.
Izombe had witnessed more than six cases of invasion by armed men which resulted in the burning of scores of buildings and deaths.
Obinna told the people to stop killings of fellow Igbo brothers in the name of agitation for Biafra.
“We will like to have Biafra, but is not with catapult that we will use to get it. Let there be love and unity among Igbo people. The 2023 election is very close, my advice is for our people to come together and support good candidates because that is how we can move forward.”
He urged aggrieved people of Izombe to meet with him for a peace dialogue that could bring more enduring peace and resolution of ongoing crisis in the area.
Fr. Ernest Muforo, son of the late traditional ruler, who spoke on behalf of the family, said he was grateful to the people who attended the burial.
“We (had earlier) first fixed this burial for Dec. 9 before later move it to December 15 due to the situation in Izombe yet you people came in your numbers.
“For the past four months, our Parish priest has been starving because of the security situation in Izombe because many people are on the run. In spite of what is happening, Izombe are good people, we may have some bad eggs, but these people should know that Izombe is our only home.
For those who ran away and came from wherever they ran to for this burial, let them return home because we cannot abandon our place.”
Eze Muforo, who died at the age of 88 was the first traditional ruler of oil-bearing Aborshi Izombe Autonomous Community.