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Obiano sets up panel to probe Umuleri, Aguleri boundary dispute

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Anambra community crises deepens over monarch’s election
Forty-eight hours after the communal clash between Aguleri and Umuleri communities of Anambra State that claimed two lives and six vehicles, Governor Willie Obiano has set up a panel to look into the dispute.

The panel, headed by AVM Bernard Chiobi (rtd.), has three weeks to submit its report.

Its Terms of Reference (ToR) include to establish the immediate cause of the dispute on Saturday, January 16, 2021; invite and interview the families that own disputed lands and establish the boundaries between Aguleri and Umuleri as well as recommend other possible solutions that will guarantee lasting peace in the area.

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According to a statement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, members of the committee will be sworn in today (Tuesday) by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke, at the Deputy Governor’s Conference Hall.

SIMILARLY, the crisis rocking Aguluzigbo community in Anaocha Council has taken another dimension, as stakeholders have declared the election held to select their new monarch null and void.

They said the election held last Saturday that threw up Chief Rufus Ilodiba as Igwe-elect did not follow due process.

In different interviews yesterday, elders from Etuleze village, who spoke after a meeting at Umuelim Community Hall, said people were subjected to harassment and intimidation during the election.

Chairman of Umuelim village, Chief Obinna Obinwa, explained that the constitution recommended persons from 18 years as eligible voters in the Igweship election, but that the President-General (PG) of Aguluzigbo Mr. Nwike Madueke, added that it ought to be 18 years and presentation of ADU levies and dues receipts.

He said: “We said no, that it was not acceptable and not part of our constitution. We don’t want to shed blood in the community. The PG and his executive fixed the Igwe election on December 31, 2020, but many stakeholders who came home for the election had left for their various stations.”

Obinwa added that the election was rescheduled for January 15, 2021.

“But I called the election committee chairman, arguing that the election cannot hold.

“The community is not happy. There was no election. We reject the result because the numbers were fabricated,” he added.

Also, Chief Walter Okafor said many people are not happy with the election process.

He said: “Over 300 security operatives drawn from Special Anti Kidnapping Squad, Nigerian Police, and civil defence corps took over the election venue. The election scene was like a militarised zone as an armoured tank, eight security Hilux vans, and six other patrol cars were lined at the hall.”

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