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Oruku-Umuode communal conflict: Enugu govt nullifies harmonised boundary agreement

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Oruku-Umuode communal conflict: Enugu govt nullifies harmonised boundary agreement

The Enugu State Government has nullified a hitherto gazetted Harmonised Boundary Agreement signed by two waring communities- Oruku and Umuode.

DAILY POST reports that the two neighbouring communities have not known peace for years despite intervention of successive administrations in the State.

Several lives and properties have been lost to mayhem being unleashed in the area.

Upon assumption of office, the immediate past administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi initiated moves to reconcile the communities.

Part of such moves was the gazetting of an agreement said to have been reached by the communities.

However, the killings continued unabated until the end of the Ugwuanyi administration.

DAILY POST has now learnt that before Ugwuanyi left office, his administration gazetted a counter document invalidating the boundary agreement.

The immediate past Governor signed the document on May 26, 2023.

The document obtained by DAILY POST reads:

“Oruku and Umuode Communities have been engaged in bitter communal hostilities for over 3 decades;

“Attempts had been made by past administrations both military and civilian to stop the lingering war and hostilities between the communities, notably Navy Captain Adewumi Agbaje, Col. Sule Ahman and Governor Sullivan Chime administrations;

“The Oruku and Umuode Communities allegedly entered into an undated Boundary Harmonisation Agreement;

“By virtue of the alleged Harmonisation Agreement, a Technical Committee (TC) was constituted to carry out a survey of the old Oruku communal land, demarcate and apportion same at the ratio of 70:30 to Oruku and Umuode communities respectively in line with the said Agreement. The TC produced a boundary survey plan of the old Oruku communal land which was annexed to the Agreement as Appendix A:

“The said Boundary Harmonisation Agreement between Oruku Community and Umuode Community was published in the Executive Order No. 1 of 2023, Enugu State Official Gazette number E.S.L.G No. 1 dated the 10th day of October 2019;

“Following the publication of the Harmonisation Agreement in the State official Gazette, there has been incessant breakdown of law and order and breach of the peace in the area manifested in the gruesome killing of HRH Igwe Emmanuel Chidiebere Mba, the Traditional Ruler of Oruku community on 26th December, 2020, Chief Samuel Ani, the Vice Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Oruku Town Union, on 24th February, 2021;

“As investigations into the killing of HRH Igwe Emmanuel Chidiebere Mba, the Traditional Ruler of Oruku community and Chief Samuel Ani, the Vice Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Oruku Town Union, were ongoing, several other killings, maimings, burning of houses and destruction of farm land were taking place;

“The Government of Enugu State also created Aguikpa autonomous community as part of the measures to enthrone peace and harmony in Oruku Community but this did not curb the tide of killings and arson.

“AND WHEREAS the security and welfare of the people is the primary purpose of Government.”

He then ordered that: “I, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi, Governor of Enugu State in Exercise of powers conferred on me by Section 21(1)(a) of the Interpretation Law Cap. 98 Revised Laws of Enugu State 2004 and all other POWERS enabling me in that behalf hereby order the following-

“The publication in the Enugu State Official Gazette number E.S.L.G No. 1 dated the 10th day of October 2019, the Boundary Harmonisation Agreement between Oruku Community and Umuode Community is hereby set aside, nullified and cancelled.

“The cancellation of the survey of the old Oruku communal land by the technical committee, and consequent demarcation and apportionment of the old Oruku communal land at the ratio of 70:30 to Oruku and Umuode communities respectively.

“The creation of Aguikpa autonomous community is cancelled and nullified.

“The people of Oruku, Umuode and Aguikpa communities shall maintain the status quo prior to the publication of the alleged Harmonisation Agreement in the Enugu State Gazette.

“The people of Oruku and Umuode communities should evolve autochthonous peace building mechanism to resolve their differences amicably.

“GIVEN UNDER MY HAND this 26th day of May 2023. RT. HON. IFEANYI UGWUANYI, Governor of Enugu State.”

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