The two communities in conflict over land and boundary adjustment dispute in Udu Kingdom; Oghior and Ukpiovwin communities have agreed to embrace lasting peace in the area with the signing a peace pact.
The peace pact, which was signed at the instance of the Senior Adviser to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution, Chief Edwin Uzor, who also presided over the meeting and the Udu Council Chairman, Hon. Jite Brown, was the outcome of the Emergency Peace Accord Meeting held at the Office of the Council boss on March 18 2020.
According to Uzor, the signing of the peace pact by the warring communities was the only way to bring to an end the one week long crisis, which had already claimed four lives.
Chief Uzor stressed that, the step was government’s measure to forestall further hostilities in the two communities as well as avert untold losses to the State as the crisis could further deepen the fall in the State’s quantum of oil production, adding that in the face of global fall in oil prices due to the corona virus pandemic, communal clash of this nature was a disservice to the State.
He further emphasized that the administration of Okowa strongly believes in the critical and cardinal role of peace in engendering economic growth and development which informed the creation of his office.
Uzor, therefore, advised representatives of both communities to go back and caution their wards, children and subjects to heed strictly to the terms and conditions of the the peace pact as anyone perceived or caught defaulting it shall be made to face wrath of the law.
In the same vein, the Council boss, Hon. Jite Brown, had earlier called on the communities to eschew further hostilities and embrace peace by abiding by the peace pact, while expressing his displeasure at the way they went back on the initial truce with impunity, adding that it was not going to be business as usual for anyone who attempts to go that route again.
On his part, Chief Steve Sokoh who headed a nine man committee set up on the March 12, to investigate the remote causes of the crisis in order to come up with workable resolutions and recommendations, said his committee, after due consultation with both parties, came up with the following findings and recommendations: that both parties have agreed to cease hostilities, that the presidents of both communities would be held responsible for breach of any of the resolutions by their subjects; and, that the traditional institution of the Udu Kingdom and the Local Government Council shall be responsible for the proper delineation of the land under dispute.
Representatives from both parties spoke in unison that they would abide by the terms of the peace pact while pleading for security agents to be allowed to still remain in the area to avoid further attacks and killings.