Peace returns to Anambra community as stakeholders resolve leadership squabble

From Chuks Eke, Awka

Faces of the people of Umueri community in Anambra-East Local Government Area are now beaming in smiles, following the resolution of their long standing town union leadership squabble.

The resolution is coming on the heels of prompt intervention by the State Government through the signing of a peace accord between the  traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Ben Izuchukwu Emeka (Okebo II) of Umueri and the President-General of the town union, Chief Pius Ejimofor Okonkwo.

The town union had been enmeshed in leadership crisis over issues bordering on alleged financial improprieties, arbitrariness, etc on the part of Okonkwo, President-General of the town union, which metamorphosed into an impeachment attempt on him in April this year, from whence the crisis erupted. 

During a reconciliatory meeting held at the Umueri Civic Center, all the grey areas were ironed out to usher in an era of peace and tranquility in the community and in the town union in particular as Igwe Emeka waded into the matter and assuaged the feelings of people on why peace was an inevitable option in the circumstance.
Speaking after the meeting, Igwe Emeka who declared the crisis over, said: “We have held a meeting that ushered in peace in Umueri . You know that for about three months now, Umueri has been in the news for both positivity and negativity but today we have laid all the hatred and misunderstandings to rest.”

The monarch said the President-General of the community Chief Pius Okonkwo has been reinstated and handed over back the mantle of leadership of Umueri town union. You know that precisely on the 27th of April, 2019, there was a purported impeachment plot which threatened to tear the community apart, but through the grace of God and government intervention, we have forged an understanding and wrote a memo which we signed.
“That memo is what we gave the people of Umueri at the Civic Center signifying that there is no more squabble in the leadership. Peace has returned to Umueri community and we give God the glory”.
Igwe Emeka maintained that since peace has returned to the community, it is therefore incumbent upon the President-General to summon a general meeting of the entire community where he would address them in details regarding the way forward, stressing that now that he has been reinstated, it is expected that he would function alongside the traditional ruler and the Igwe in council of Umueri kingdom.

An indigenous Anglican priest of the community Ven.Shalom Ginika who attended the reconciliatory meeting as well as offered prayers and thanksgiving to God for the peace that has just returned to his community, recalled that at the inception of the rancour, he as spiritual fathers of Umueri and others offered prayers for the peaceful resolution of the crisis stressing that the reconciliation was timely and a welcome development .

The Anglican priest who does his apostolic work in Abia state but hails from Umueri community expressed profound gratitude to God for His peaceful intervention as well as the wisdom He bestowed on their monarch, Igwe Emeka for the way and manner with which he handled the town union leadership imbroglio.

Also an octogenarian, Chief Vincent Nwasi the Obi of Umueri kingdom who is a native of Ezi-Umueri said it was a statement of fact that there was a problem in Umueri but according to him, the said problem has come to finality with the resolution of the crisis in the town union leadership by the timely intervention of the traditional ruler and the state government.

The 87-year old man maintained that Igwe Emeka showed the community the way to the restoration of peace, noting that all the hullabaloo about power tussle ended with the reconciliatory meeting because he believed that the monarch was a man of impeccable character and self-sufficient.

He said there was a move to pull the President-General out of control because of his character but opined that the traditional ruler intervened and put everything to an end with the reconciliatory meeting even as he emphasized that the President-General must be accountable to the people.

High Chief Joseph Uzoma Onuigbo  who hails from Ikenga-Umueri and a member of the Igwe’s cabinet said the reconciliatory meeting was a veritable platform to implement the peace accord signed at the Government House Awka between the traditional ruler, Igwe Emeka and the President-General, Okonkwo  in the presence of the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters.

Onuigbo was of the opinion that if the contents of the peace accord was strictly adhered to, Umueri town would accommodate all and sundry, stressing that it therefore behoves on the PG and the traditional ruler to work cap in hand to move Umueri community forward to the next level of progress, development and prosperity.

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