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Ogidi community in Idemili North Local government area of Anambra State has resolved a 50-year old crisis with its neighbour, Abatete.
The Eastern Updates understands that Ogidi is the community of renowned novelist, Late Prof Chinua Achebe.
Anambra State Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke who attended the reconciliation ceremony held by both communities to seal the resolution praised them for agreeing to withdraw from hostility and communal conflict which has bedevilled the boundary disagreement for 50 years now.
He also praised a businessman, Sam Anyanwutaku, a son of Ogidi, who championed the resolution of the crisis, saying his intervention has saved many years of hostilities.
He said the hostilities had stunted the development of the communities following the land dispute.
Okeke said, ‘We are happy to be here today to witness peace between Umudunu Agbaja village in Abatete and Umueze Obodo Ajilija village in Ogidi. It took the effort of one man to resolve this 50 years old boundary dispute. In the next month, I will leave office as Deputy Governor. This is one of the crises settled under my watch, and I’m so happy.
‘My experience as chairman of boundary resolution committee for seven years and 11 months now has shown that no one can resolve boundary disputes, except the communities involved agree to do so. Not even the court or my office can. It only takes being reasonable for problems like this to be resolved.’
The Deputy Governor also presented a letter of commendation to Chief Anyanwutaku for facilitating the peaceful resolution of the dispute.
In his reaction, Anyanwutaku said the resolution was an act of God and expressed happiness at the peace that has returned to the area.
He said, ‘Many communities in Anambra are still in crisis today as a result of land disputes. Many are holding meetings and taxing all male adults to make contributions for the purchase of arms to fight over land.
‘We must learn to embrace peace, and all communities must also caution their youth because they are the ones that usually take up arms to fight over land. We are happy that we were able to resolve this dispute.’
Leaders of the two villages thanked Anyanwutaku for his intervention while assuring that the peace that has returned to the two communities will last forever.
Prof Obiora Ikpeze, a member peace conciliation committee told the Deputy Governor that the reconciliation ceremony being held was jointly sponsored by the two villages, as a sign that they wholeheartedly accept the reconciliation.
THE EASTERN UPDATES