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Tension in Abia over new autonomous communities

By Anayo Okoli

Umuahia—A major crisis is brewing at Okaiuga Nkwoegwu Autonomous community in Umuahia North Local Government Area over the creation of additional two autonomous communities from the community by the Abia State Government.

The new autonomous communities are Umuohuru and Egwu-Na-Eleke. The creation has polarized the people. While a group is in support of the exercise, the other group is against the exercise.

Interestingly, the two sides had paid visits to Governor, Chief Theodore Orji. While the group that supports the creation came to thank the Governor for creating the new autonomous communities, the other group which came yesterday protested against the creation, saying that they never asked for new autonomous communities in their community.

Meanwhile, the government had said publicly that it had suspended creation of autonomous communities in the state, except where it was absolutely necessary, and that all concerned were in support of the creation.
In creating the new autonomous communities, the government said it was to make for peace in the area.

But when the group which was against the action led by Chief S.I. Nwigwe came to protest at the Government House yesterday, they said they never requested for new autonomous communities and therefore rejected them.

They accused the traditional rulers of Umuosu Okaiuga Nkwoegwu, Eze Nzenwata Mbakwe and one Chief Ezekiel Nwosu of allegedly “aggressively promoting the creation of mushroom autonomous communities in the erroneous belief that more mushroom communities would bring peace to Okaiuga Nkwoegwu.”

Rather than bring peace, the action, according to them was “a threat to life, property, peace and order” in the area.

“We, the people and leadership of Umuohuru Okaiuga Nkwoegwu and Egwu-Na-Eleke Okaiuga Nkwoegwu received this public announcement with shock and utter embarrassment as we never requested for new autonomous communities from the Abia State Government.

We immediately protested in person and in writing to the appropriate government agencies. It is our wish to remain in Okaiuga Nkwoegwu autonomous community. We  are convinced that the balkanization of Okaiuga Nkwoegwu into mushroom autonomous communities, with low population and no infrastructural services is a recipe for chaos,” they warned.


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