Ukpila-Ohuhu crisis shameful, unacceptable -Group

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Tasks elites, traditional rulers on speedy peace process

The Greater Adinu Peace Movement (GAPM) has described the recent communal clash between Ukpila-Oboru and Ohuhu-Owo communities in Oju LGA of Benue State as not only shameful but also despicable and reprehensible, urging them to lay down their arms and embrace peace and dialogue.

Rising from an emergency meeting in Abuja, the group, in a communique, also urged the leaders at all strata of the warring villages to rise up and speak publicly in condemnation of what it described as “an embarrassing conflagration” in order to send the necessay signals to the youths and other perpetrators of the crisis that their actions are inimical to peaceful coexistence, and therefore unacceptable.

According to the Movement, it is in the best interest of the two neighbouring villages which have deeply intermarried and shared common patrimony to dialogue on any issues of discontent rather than take up arms against each other at the slightest provocation.

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GAPM, which is an umbrella platform of all the community associations from Adinu political zone based in Abuja, particularly took the political elites and the traditional rulers in the area to task on the need to always promote peace and harmony by their words and deeds.

While it urged the two warring sides to regard the occurrence of last week as a mistake and evolve the much needed healing process, it warned that if the political class and the traditional leaders failed to rein in the fighting youths, they would incur the wrath of the Movement.

Worried that there would be dire consequences for Adinu if the current dispute is not amicably resolved before the security personnel keeping the peace in the area take their leave, the Movement called for a synergy between the political, traditional and religious leaders both at home and in the diaspora to evolve necessary mechanisms to contain the violence with a view to entrenching lasting peace and harmony in the warring villages.

The GAPM also resolved to send a powerful delegation on peace advocacy visit to the villages within the shortest time possible as further interventions to douse tension and prevent further breach of the peace.

Signed by Onah Ipole (Oboru), Dan Ikwu (Iyeche) and Egena Ode (Owo), the communique read in part: “That there was urgent need for Ukpila-Oboru and Ohuju-Owo sons and daughters in Abuja, under the auspices of GAPM to quickly intervene in the crisis with a view to bringing it to an end, and thereafter design strategies for entrenching lasting peace and harmony within Adinu political zone generally;

“That elites and opinion leaders of both villages should stand up and speak in condemnation of the perpetrators of the crisis in order to calm the nerves of the fighting youths;

“That the traditional rulers should live up to the expectations of their sacred offices by ensuring that peace reigns in their domains at all costs.

“That members of this movement should make urgent plan to pay a peace advocacy visit to the two villages as a step to further douse the palpable tension.”

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