UMUNYA COMMUNITY ENDS RIFT, AS GOVERNMENT SUES FOR PEACE
By John Ndu :
Umunya, Sept. 19, 2019 (MOI) Anambra State Government has urged Umunya community to fashion out measures to promote unity and peace among them.
Gov. Willie Obiano made the call during peace negotiation at the sacred land of Umunya, Oyi Local Government Area (LGA).
The governor, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Traditional Institution and Community Matters, Mr Benjamin Umerah, said the present administration mapped out developmental strides for communities to key in.
He noted that his administration would continue to provide the enabling environment to ensure healthy living and welfare of the people.
The Governor urged them to embrace health insurance scheme, stressing that wealthy people in the community could sponsor indigent and widows, who could not afford to enrol.
``Such will promote unity and peace in the community. Without peace, your community cannot attain development. You already have a highly respected king in the person of Igwe Chris Onyekwuluje.
``In my estimation, he has been doing well, and the state government regards him highly. It will only be good for you to support your king to continue to discharge his duties creditably, instead of distracting him with protests and accusations,” the Governor added
Traditional Ruler of Umunya, Igwe Onyekwuluje, who initiated the peace talk, urged his people to resolve rifts and embrace peace, for development of the community.
The event attracted prominent personalities in the community, as well as government officials, market women, in spite of the fact that it coincided with their market day.
The sacred land of Umunya was not a regular village meeting square, but a holy place meant to deliberate matters with grave consequences,
Chief Priest of the community, who arrived at the venue with ‘Ojii’ (rattling staff), symbol of authority of a deity with mystical powers, directed that all respondents must remove their shoes before giving testimonies.
He cautioned that anyone, who would give false testimony, could die after seven days.
Some petitioners, apparently over fear of the caution, failed to appear for the meeting, even though opportunities were given for people to express their views.
People who spoke bare footed absolved the traditional ruler from blame over the crisis.
Igwe Onyekwuluje, then, said that ‘Oji-ana’ age grade (an association of oldest people in the community) had no constitutional right to litigate on community issues.
Igwe Onyekwuluje, however, pardoned all those he
described as his distracters. (MOI)