The people of Oruku, Umuode and the newly created Aguikpa Oruku Autonomous Community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State who had hitherto been rocked by inter-communal dispute for over 25 years that was recently laid to rest following the intervention of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, on Wednesday paid a heartfelt thank-you visit to the governor at the Government House, Enugu.
Gov. Ugwuanyi who had led successive peace interventions to the hitherto warring communities over land ownership dispute, promised to resolve the crisis in line with his administration’s peace and grassroots development initiatives despite the fact that efforts made by past administrations were unsuccessful.
Barley two months ago, the leaders of Oruku and Umuode autonomous communities signed agreement on land ownership and boundary delineation, consequent upon series of conciliatory meetings between the parties at the instance of Gov. Ugwuanyi.
The development, which led to the creation of Aguikpa Oruku Autonomous Community, out of the existing Oruku Autonomous Community by the state government, finally settled the age-long inter-communal hostilities between Oruku and Umuode communities to the delight of the people of the areas and their environs.
Speaking during the thank-you visit, the traditional ruler of Aguipka Oruku Autonomous Community, HRH Igwe Dr. Cornelius Nomeh, thanked God for restoring peace in their land and poured encomium on Gov. Ugwuanyi for his commitment and peaceful disposition in ending the crisis.
The monarch, who described Gov. Ugwuanyi as a man of peace, expressed the immense gratitude of the people of the three autonomous communities to the governor for restoring peace in their land after “all the past Military and Civilian Governors in Enugu State” could not resolve the dispute.
“But he (Ugwuanyi) came in as Governor of Enugu State and said that something must be done; that he will tackle the problem; he swore to tackle the problem successfully since Enugu State is in the hands of God; that God Almighty will not allow him to be put to shame.
“Today, we are here to say thank you to His Excellency. Enugu State bears testimony to what is happening today. You are a great man, so it is not surprising what we are witnessing today”, Igwe Nomeh said.
Also speaking, the traditional ruler of Umuode Autonomous Community, HRH Igwe Moses Idenyi, described Gov. Ugwuanyi as “a wonderful and honest man” and “God’s gift to mankind”, who brought light over darkness in the three communities, stressing that “words of thanksgiving cannot be enough for you”.
According to him, “my people were enemies before, but today we are here clapping hands, thanking God because you (Ugwuanyi) made it possible”.
In their separate speeches, the caretaker chairmen of the three autonomous communities, and former chairman of the council, Hon. Emma Omaba of Umuode, Hon. Emma Mba of Oruku, Hon. Raphael Ani of Aguikpa Oruku, and Hon. Ejike Ani, also expressed gratitude to Gov. Ugwuanyi for settling the age-long communal dispute and assured the governor that posterity will forever remember him for his peace initiatives and uncommon leadership style.
Responding, Gov. Ugwuanyi appreciated the visit and thanked God for making all the efforts towards the realization of peace in the communities a reality.
The governor also appreciated God that it was during his tenure that the peace accord was reached, adding that the feat will bring peace and more development to the communities.
He also thanked leaders and members of the communities for their sacrifice and contributions towards the actualization of peace, saying that it is a day of celebration of peace in the communities in particular and Enugu State in general.