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The communities of Abomege and Ishinkwo in Ebonyi State’s Onicha Local Government Area are reportedly taking steps to heal old wounds and restore peace, having been in conflict for more than a century.
It’s worth remembering that the ongoing land ownership disagreement within the LGA had plunged the two communities into conflict, resulting in casualties and significant property damage.
These unfortunate circumstances had persisted throughout the tenures of former Governors Sam Egwu, Martin Elechi, and David Umahi in the State.
Governor Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru has taken steps to resolve the century-old conflict in the area by authorising the establishment of a Peace Committee. This committee’s mandate is to thoroughly investigate the root and proximate causes of the dispute between Abomege and Ishinkwo communities in Ebonyi State.
His Royal Highness Ezeogo Ewa Elechi, at the helm of the Committee, effectively coordinated dialogues with stakeholders from Abomege and Ishinkwo communities in separate meetings. Joint gatherings involving community leaders and stakeholders provided a platform for mutual understanding.
During a physical visit to the warring communities on August 18, 2023, as reported by Prof. Wilberforce Oti, the Secretary of the Peace Committee, Hon. Donatus Ilang, the Commissioner for Border Peace and Conflict Resolution, earnestly called upon the communities to give peace a chance.
Bishop Lawson Elom, a member of the Peace Committee, appreciated the Governor’s initiative in forming a committee consisting of individuals known for their integrity, credibility, and character. He stressed the importance of everyone’s cooperation with the committee to secure a peace that stands the test of time.
Another member of the Peace Committee, Rev. Fr. Marcel Ezenwa, stressed the continued expense of war, highlighting that whatever sacrifices are necessary to achieve peace are absolutely worth it.
This is even as the Secretary of the Peace Committee, Prof Wilberforce Oti implored to the people not to miss the opportunity offered to them to achieve peace, which other past committees couldn’t achieve.
In response, the leaders and stakeholders of the two communities expressed their optimism about the integrity of the members of the Peace Committee and also their readiness to work together with the committee to achieve a lasting peace in the warring communities.
Subsequently, on August 22, 2023, leaders and stakeholders from Abomege and Ishinkwo came together to sign a Ceasefire Agreement and Peace Accord.
Led by Comrade Ogbuagu Uchenna, President General of the Town Union, and His Royal Highness J. Nnanna Ikegwu Obinire 1 of Ishinkwo, the Abomege and Ishinkwo delegates expressed their resolute commitment to establishing a climate of peace in their respective communities.