By ENYIM ENYIM
ONITSHA — The protracted Nkerehi/ Umuchukwu community in Orumba South Local Government crisis has deepened following alleged incessant cases of kidnap of prominent persons and other criminal activities by youths suspected to be opposed to the name change of the community.
Nkerehi community was changed to Umuchukwu through a Referendum conducted on January 7, 2008 by the Anambra state government.
Subsequently, the official Gazette on the name change was released by government in April 2008.
But since then, the community had known no peace as a section of the area vehemently opposed the change and insisted that the old name be retained.
At a briefing weekend, the public relations officer of Umuchukwu progressive union, Mr Nnaemeka Onwusoronye, called on the state and federal governments to as a matter of urgency intervene to bring a lasting peace to the area.
He recalled that trouble started in 2007 when majority of the people in the community at a crucial town meeting supported the name change from Nkerehi which was said to have been named after a totem, elephant to Umuchukwu, meaning children of God.
Onwusoronye said there had been incessant attacks on the community by the group opposed to the name change, alleging that the attacks had claimed two persons, wounded many people and property destroyed.
He further alleged that some youths who were being sponsored by the opposition group were hiding under the cloak of ‘Nkerehi must remain’ to commit criminal offences ranging from kidnap of people including the traditional ruler of the community to looting of people’s properties in the place.
However, he declared that, “We cannot succumb to the intimidation of some people who want to settle personal and selfish scores under the clandestine activities of Nkerehi must remain”.