From: Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia
The Eze Ben Oriaku-led Umudike-Ukwu Auonomous Community of Abia State has been mandated by the Abia State Government to collapse into the existing Umudike autonomous community and to maintain peace and order while waiting for their own turn to produce the traditional ruler.
This directive was contained in a letter dated July 18, 2017 and signed by Mr. U.J. Nwagbara, for the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Chieftaincy and Local Government Affairs, a copy of which was made available to journalists by elders of Umudike community.
The Umudike community, however, playing host to Michael Okpara University of Agricuture, Abia State, has urged their Umuelele kindred to drop the aspiration to become autonomous and return to them as one indivisible entity.
Briefing newsmen in the community, on Monday, through their palace secretary, Elder Patrick Nwadinobi, the community recalled that the university town has nearly thrown them into wanton bloodshed by some desperate Umuelele kindred over, who want to break away and have their own traditional ruler.
He said that the community was made up of only three kindred, namely, Umuofor, Okwuta and Umuelele and got its status as an autonomous community in 2002 with late Eze Godwin Enyinnaya from Umuofor as its first traditional ruler.
According to him, “An agreement was reached that the royal stool would rotate between the three kindred, but regrettably, the agreement was destroyed by the decision of the Umuelele people who claim that they have got a new autonomous community called Umudike-Ukwu.
This development, he said, led to Ezehip tussle, which has retarded the progress of the community for a long time.
But recently, the intervention of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu seem to have brought back peace into the community, making the community leader to sue for peace with their brothers.
Hence the call to Umuelele kindred to drop their aspiration and return to status quo.
Nwadinobi also said that the three villages have common river, market, market square and school, wondering why a group of people could plot to bring in anarchy through balkanising their community, when they are one people.
Elder Nwadinobi further stated that the community nearly snowballed into total bloodshed but for the elders’ reprimand of their youths.
The community, however, thanked the state’s House of Assembly and Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for recommending the delisting of the Umudike-Ukwu autonomous community and for ordering a return to status quo and promised to support the second term ambition of Dr. Ikpeazu as governor.