Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Umueri communinty in Anambra-East local government area of Anambra state has resolved its town union leadership squabble following the intervention of the Anambra State Government through the signing of a peace accord between the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Ben Izuchukwu Emeka, and the President-General of the town union, Chief Pius Ejimofor Okonkwo.
It would be recalled that the town union had been enmeshed in leadership crisis over issues of financial improprieties, arbitrariness as well as alleged irresponsiveness and irresponsibility on the part of the President-General of Umueri town union, Chief Pius Ejimofor Okonkwo, which led to an impeachment attempt on him on 27th April 2019, from whence the crisis erupted.
Our correspondent who was at the reconciliatory meeting yesterday at the Umueri Civic Centre gathered that the meeting ushered in an era of peace and tranquility in the community and in the town union in particular as Igwe Emeka waded into the matter and assuaged the feelings of people.
The traditional ruler said, “We have held a meeting that ushered in peace in Umueri. You know that for some three months now, Umueri has been in the news for both positive and negative but today we have laid all the hatred and misunderstandings to rest.
“So the President-General of the community Chief Pius Okonkwo has been reinstated and handed over back the mantle of leadership of Umueri town union.
“You know that precisely on the 27th of April 2019, there was a purported impeachment which tried to tear the community into parts but through the grace of God and government intervention, we have been able to have an understanding and wrote a memo which we signed. That memo is what we gave the people of Umueri at the civic centre.
“So there is no more squabble in the leadership. Peace has returned to Umueri community and we give God the glory.”
Igwe Emeka maintained that since peace has returned to the community, it is therefore incumbent on the President-General to summon a general meeting of the entire community where he would address them in details regarding the way forward, stressing that now that he has been reinstated, it is expected that he would function alongside the traditional ruler and the Igwe in council of Umueri kingdom.
An indigenous Anglican priest of the community Ven. Shalom Ginika who attended the reconciliatory meeting as well as offered prayers and thanksgiving to God for the peace that has returned to his community, noted that when the leadership rancour began, as spiritual fathers of Umueri, they offered prayers for the peaceful resolution of the crisis stressing that the reconciliation was timely and a welcome development.
The Anglican priest who does his apostolic work in Abia state but hails from Umueri community expressed profound gratitude to God for His peaceful intervention as well as the wisdom he bestowed on Igwe Emeka for the way and manner in which he handled the Umueri town union leadership matter.
Also, an octogenarian Chief Vincent Nwasi the Obi of Umueri kingdom who is a native of Ezi-Umueri said it was a statement of fact that there was a problem in Umueri but the said problem has come to finality with the resolution of the crisis in the town union leadership by the timely intervention of the traditional ruler.
The 87-year-old man maintained that Igwe Emeka showed the community the way to the restoration of peace noting that all the hullabaloo about power tussle ended with the reconciliatory meeting because he believed that the monarch was a man of impeccable character.
He said there was a move to pull the President-General out of control because of his character but opined that the traditional ruler intervened and put everything to an end with the reconciliatory meeting even though he was emphatic that the President-General must be accountable to the people.
High Chief Joseph Uzoma Onuigbo who hails from Ikenga-Umueri and a member of the Igwe’s cabinet said the reconciliatory meeting was a veritable platform to implement the peace accord signed at the Government House Awka between the traditional ruler and the President-General before the Commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters.
Onuigbo was of the opinion that if the contents of the peace accord were strictly adhered to, Umueri town would accommodate all and sundry. He said that it therefore behooves on the PG and the traditional ruler to work hand in hand to move Umueri community to the next level of progress, development and prosperity.