The Nation reports that over 18 buildings have been destroyed in renewed clashes between residents of Aguleri and Umueri communal clash in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Residents of Umueri have urged Governor Willie Obiano to intervene to avoid further killings.
The President General of Umueri community, Chief Pius Okonkwo, and other leaders of the community addressed reporters yesterday in Awka, the state capital, on the communal killings.
The community leaders said they do not want war but peace with their neighbours.
About a month ago, the two communities clashed over a piece of land.
Youths from Aguleri allegedly invaded Umueri and destroyed houses, fences and injured some residents.
The Nation gathered that the bone of contention was the land said to belong to Umueri but claimed by Aguleri.
Okonkwo, who was represented by Edwin Obigwe, the Assistant Secretary of Umueri General Assembly (UGA), urged the state government to implement the recommendations in the White Paper after the infamous war between 1999 and 2002.
He said: “Umueri residents want peace. We do not want to fight wars with any of our neighbours. This is because we believe wars are anathema, ill-wills which blow no one any good. Specifically, Umueri wants enduring and genuine peace with Aguleri.
“This is because we have built relationships – personal, business and even religious – with Aguleri over several decades, if not centuries. We cherish these relationships and want to protect them.
“We appeal to Governor Obiano, who hails from Aguleri, to use this opportunity of being at the helm of affairs in our state to put in place the machinery for achieving genuine peace between Aguleri, his community, and Umueri.
“This appeal to Obiano, FCA, Akpokuodike Global, is made even as we hear from some quarters that he is the person instigating his people at Aguleri to cash in upon this ‘golden opportunity’ provided by his stint to acquire as much of Umueri land as possible.
“We do not want to believe this story, but we are also worried that his people are spoiling for war at a time he is facing re-election challenges.
“We call on the Anambra State government to quickly implement the recommendations in the White Paper issued by government after the infamous 1999 hostility between our two communities. The recommendations are quite sound and their implementation, will no doubt, bring total peace to our beleaguered area.
“It is our prayer that Aguleri and Umueri should be at peace so that our people, responding to the Arewa Quite Notice and other sad developments in contemporary Nigeria, can run home to take refuge therein, if they can no longer put up with the unbearable situation elsewhere.”
Source: The Nation