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By Anastacia Agunwa/Gloria Abugu  :

Awka, Feb. 17, 2021 (MOI) Anambra State House of Assembly has called on Gov. Willie Obiano urgently direct the relevant security agencies to intervene in disturbances at Ogwuikpele in Ogbaru and Azia in Ihiala Local Government Areas (LGAs).

The House resolved that this would help to restore order in the two LGAs in the state.

For sustainable peace in the state, the lawmakers also urged that a committee of enquiry be set up over the disturbances.

It also resolved, sequel to a matter presented under Matters of Urgent Public Importance by Mr Somtochukwu Udeze representing Ogbaru 2 Constituency, during plenary session on Feb. 16.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Uche Okafor, who presided over the plenary had moved for the resolutions of the House, while the lawmakers unanimously adopted it through voice votes.

Mr Okafor described the incidences as pathetic and worrisome, given the manner in which Udeze stood to narrate the experiences of his constituents in the Ogwuikpele community crisis.

“I can feel the pulse of the members when the deputy Speaker relayed what also happened at Azia; it becomes worrisome.

“What seems to be a blessing to us which is oil should not turn around to be a curse on us. We pray to have oil as part of our resources because it is going to help to improve the economic drive of the state.

“Now that Anambra is working toward that, we will not think that it will be a curse that will make us kill ourselves,’’ the Speaker posited.

Reacting further to the incident, Mr Udeze said: “may I intimate this House that there is a serious security breach in my constituency, Ogwuikpele community which is an oil rich-community.

“I want to let you know about the level of wanton destruction of lives on Feb. 12, 2021, where four persons were murdered in Ogwuikpele community.

“Mr Speaker, we are still in shock and asking questions on what happened on Feb. 12, when the houses and belongings of these murdered people were set on fire along with other houses.

“This cruel and unwarranted loss of lives, have become unbearable in my constituency,’’ he said.

Mr Udeze also drew the attention of the House to a similar incident in the same community that happened in November 2020, where two lives were lost.

“People have deserted the community as a result of the disturbances. The neighbouring towns within my constituency are currently harbouring a lot of people, especially from Ogwuikpele, Obeagbor and Obianocha communities.

“Some have been moved to Onitsha as a result of the killings in Ogwuikpele.

“It is true oil is discovered in my constituency, but the trend and attitude of some agencies regarding this issue is not anything to write home about.

“I urge that this House to call on Gov. Willie Obiano to as a matter of urgency to direct all relevant security agencies to intervene in the happenings at Ogwuikpele to restore law and order.’’

Backing Udeze, Mr Lawrence Ezeudu representing Dunukofia state constituency noted that the area would soon become an oil producing area of Anambra.

According to him, we know very well that there are some activities going on there. Already there are companies that we know that are drilling oil in that part of the state.

“’Mr. Speaker, that place has become the real oil spinner for Anambra State, this is what is expected, we have to as a Matter of Urgency, nip this issue in the board, now that this incident is below the knee,’’ Ezeudu advised.

He, however, urged that various security agencies including the Vigilance group in that area rise to secure Ogwuikpele community, stressing that if nothing is done, the incident might deteriorate and subsume a larger population.

“Ogbaru LGA is largely known for agriculture and we cannot because of oil, allow that area to disintegrate and be taken over by criminals and critics,’’ he added.

Mr Paschal Agbodike representing Ihiala 2 state constituency expressed dismay over the cult related killings in his area, informing the lawmakers that two persons were killed in Azia community.

Mr Agbodike, a deputy Speaker enjoined all to cooperate to put an end to these gruesome murders.

Mr Pete Ibida representing Njikoka 2 constituency described the situation as pathetic, saying that people were heartless and if allowed could lead to the decimation of the community.

Other members that spoke in favour are Mr Noble Igwe (Ogbaru 1), Mr Patrick Udeoba (Anambra West), Mr Douglas Egbuna (Onitsha North 1), and Mr Charles Obimma of Oyi state constituency.

The lawmakers, then, urged the state government to send enough security agents in the area in order to do the needful, noting that the area was blessed with enormous natural resources including agricultural produce.

“There should be synergy between the police and the security in Anambra. We urge the Government to set up a panel of enquiry to look into the disturbances,’’ the legislators appealed. (MOI)

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