Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Peace has finally returned to Umumbo community in Ayamelum local government area of Anambra state after it had issues over a land dispute with farmers in the Lower Anambra Irrigation Project established by the federal government in Omor.
To this end, the people have appealed to Governor Willie Obiano to temper justice with mercy and consider accepting the apology tendered by their suspended traditional ruler to enable him to pilot the affairs of the community.
Umumbo is made of eight villages and is said to be one of the food producing communities in Ayamelum local government area of Anambra state.
Recently, the community was thrown into chaos and mourning following a dispute between some farmers in the area and their counterparts in Omor, a neighbouring community also known for agricultural ventures.
However, after several negotiations and interventions by the government and security agencies, normalcy returned to the area after they all agreed to sheathe their swords and let peace rein.
Sadly, however, the community was again in the news when the state government announced the suspension of their traditional ruler, Igwe Simeon Chidubem, who was among the 12 traditional rulers that travelled to Abuja without the permission of the Governor.
Speaking with newsmen on the development yesterday, the Suspended Traditional Ruler, Igwe Simeon Chidubem, said the situation was caused by gap in communication and appealed to the governor to reconsider his decision as they were never in any mission to undermine the present administration in the state.
Igwe Chidubem called on his subjects to remain calm and law abiding and should always support efforts being made by the government to improve the lives of the people by attracting more developments to the agrarian communities.
A resident of Umumbo and one of the Cabinet members, Odu Simon Okoye, appealed to the government not to throw away the baby with the bath water as such would put a clog on the wheel of development in the area.
Another resident, and legal adviser to the community, Mr Joseph Aghanti, said the community had been very peaceful and never had any reason to call for dethronement of their traditional ruler who was only suspended by the Anambra state government.
An Elder in the area, Chief Oba Anumudu, and Vice President of the town, Mr Peter Udembga, appealed to Governor Willie Obiano not to be distracted by calls from few individuals who are not speaking for the entire community.
The Chairman of the Igwe in Council, Chief Christopher Amuluche, noted that contrary to speculations, farmers in the town were carrying on with their agricultural activities and never at any time did herdsmen invade the community with the consent of Igwe Chidubem.
A woman leader, Mrs Blessing Okafor, condemned the call by few elements for the government to dethrone their leader who believes in fair hearing and justice.
Former Executive Director, National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike and an indigene of Umumbo, Doctor Julius Okonkwor, appealed to the state government to reinstate Igwe Chidubem who he said was responsible for many developments attracted to the town.
Other Community leaders including Chief Emeka Okoye made a passionate appeal to the Anambra state government to forgive the 12 traditional rulers who had earlier tendered their apologies to enable them to continue to pilot the affairs of their various communities.