OZIGBO CONDEMNS OMOR/ANAKU COMMUNAL CLASH
~ CALLS FOR LASTING SOLUTION TO FEUD
Valentine Ozigbo, a Nigerian business mogul and philanthropist, has condemned the recent communal clashes between neighbouring towns of Omor and Anaku in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The clashes, believed to be over land disputes, between Omor and Anaku communities have lingered for several decades. According to a BBC Igbo report, corpses of victims of the clash have been discovered.
In a statement issued from his Udoka Estate campaign office on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, Mr Ozigbo decried the violence between both communities, describing the development as "totally reprehensible" while suing for authorities to wade in and ensure lasting peace in the area.
Ozigbo, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) frontrunner ahead of the 2021 Anambra governorship election, also stressed the importance of peace to every society's progress and development.
"When I decided to run for office, I envisioned an Anambra that would collectively strive to achieve greatness. Therefore, it is important that anything that threatens the life and wellbeing of any Ndi Anambra is viewed with urgency and seriousness," Ozigbo, the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, said.
"It is, indeed, a regrettable development that the dispute between Omor and Anaku communities has been allowed to degenerate to this worrisome level. Violence should never be an option in a quarrel between brothers.
"As Ndi Anambra, we must view an attack on any one of us as an attack on all seriously. An injustice to any of us, as an injustice to all, and we must pursue peace at all times.
"For this conflict between Omor and Anaku to have lasted this long, it means whatever interventions in the past have not been effective in bringing lasting peace. We must, therefore, consider modern approaches to conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
"I call on Governor Willie Obiano, traditional rulers, and local government leaders to deploy proactive measures to de-escalate the tensions between these two communities and prioritise the security of lives and properties," Ozigbo admonished.
According to news reports, land disputes triggered this latest spate of violence between Omor and Analu communities, with at least three people reportedly killed so far, while nine were injured. At least three houses, including those belonging to a former Chief Judge and a former commissioner, were destroyed.
Valentine Ozigbo is the founder of Valentine Chineto Ozigbo (VCO) Foundation, one of the leading non-governmental organisations in Nigeria that focuses on youth development, women empowerment, leadership, and community building.
In December 2020, Valentine Ozigbo led his foundation's #Walk4Peace, a fitness exercise aimed at uniting Ndi Anambra and fostering community spirit in the state.