General

Government inaugurates panel of inquiry on Omor/Umunbo communal crisis

AwkaA 10-man panel of inquiry has been inaugurated by Anambra State Government to look into Omor and Umunbo communal crisis.

The inauguration took place at the Office of the Deputy Governor at Government House, Awka on May 18.

Gov. Willie Obiano represented by his Deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke charged the panel with the responsibility of identifying problems associated with the two communities and to sort out ways of ending the conflict in order to prevent further crisis.

The panel has Prof. Solomon Ekwenze as its Chairman and Dr Emma Ude Akpeh as Secretary.

Prof. Ekwenze is from the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu University, Igbariam, while Dr Ude Akpe is Permanent Secretary in the office of the Secretary to State Government.

The members are Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly, Mr Uche Okafor, Chairman Ayamelum Traditional Rulers and Igwe Benjamin Okeji (Igwe Omasi).

Others are Mr Vincent Ofumelu, Chief Paul Odenigbo, Rev. Fr. John Manafa, Chief Boni Emengini, Chief Tony Iwoba and Mr Chinedu Anigbaoso, serving as the Chief Security Officer of the committee.

The governor read out the terms of reference to include, ascertaining the immediate and remote causes of the communal dispute between Omor and Umumbo.

The committee is also to ascertain the involvement of the major actors in the dispute.

It would also ascertain the roles played by the traditional rulers and stakeholders of both communities in the crisis.

The committee would also note the roles played by security agencies during and after the crisis, as well as note all damages incurred by both communities.

It would, then, advise the State Government on ways to ensure that communities in Ayamelum learn from the recent crisis as well as advise Government about finding common factors suitable in such crisis.

The panel will be required to submit its report within a month, subject to 10 sittings from the date of inauguration.

In response, Chairman of the committee, Prof. Ekwenze, re-assured the government of positive report that would obviously put a stop to the ongoing crisis in the two communities.

According to him, the randomly selected members of the committee are people from affected areas and experienced in matters of conflict resolution.

Addressing newsmen, the Speaker, Mr Okafor described the situation as unfortunate because State Government had made efforts to ensure that Anambra remained the safest in the country.

“The people of Ayamelum are predominantly farmers and issues of this kind usually come up during farming season.’’

He called on indigenes of these communities to sheath their swords, urging them to be their brother’s keepers for the greater good of Ayamelum LGA.

The speaker thanked Government timely response to the crisis and promised that the committee would swing into action in providing lasting solution to the crises, as well as in other communities in Ayamelum and environs. 

Source: Anambra State Government