Posted by From Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 7 July 2012 | 3,983 times
Four communities in the sister states of Abia and Imo states are at daggers drawn over a disputed border.
Oriendu and Umuadiawa autonomous communities in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State are accusing their neighbours from Umuoma and Umudibia communities from Imo State of encroaching and building on their land.
They described the actions of their estranged neighbours as provocative and have, therefore, appealed for urgent intervention of the state government and the National Boundary Commission to quickly demarcate the area as a permanent solution to the problem in order to avert imminent bloodshed.
Traditional ruler of Oriendu Autonomous Community, His Royal Highness, Eze Philip Ajomiwe, told Abia State deputy governor, Col. Emeka Ananaba (rtd), who went to inspect the troubled spot that the land was once the subject of litigation between them and their neighbours but became that of Oriendu and Umudiawa following a Supreme Court verdict of June 23, 1958.
The monarch narrated how the people of Umudibia and Umuoma had been encroaching on their rightful land by erecting illegal structures and building on the land.
Eze Ajomiwe said he has been finding it difficult to continually restrain his people from retaliating. He appealed to the government to intervene by calling the National Boundary Commission to demarcate the disputed area to end the problem permanently.
Responding, the deputy governor enjoined the royal father to continue to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order, stressing that Abia and Imo are sister states who should do everything humanly possible to avoid the shedding of blood and destruction of property.
While maintaining that Abia would always toe the path of peace in tackling all border disputes, Ananaba assured that the administration of Governor Theodore Orji would not cede what belongs to Oriendu community or any part of the state to another state, more so when there is a Supreme Court verdict conferring ownership of the disputed land on Oriendu.
He promised that government would do all within its powers to protect the lives and property of her citizens and commended the people of Oriendu and Umudiawa for conducting themselves peacefully by respecting constituted authorities despite provocation and encroachment by their neighbours from Imo State.
Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha
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