By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
AFTER about 20 years of the end of the communal war between Aguleri and Umueri in Anambra East Local Government area of Anambra State, which claimed many lives and led to the destruction of property worth millions of naira, tension has heightened in the area again following the recent alleged abduction of two persons at Ugume village of Umueri.
A statement by a group which calls itself the ‘Concerned Citizens of Umueri’ gave names of the abducted persons as Oforma Nnalue from Irueke Adegbe and Chukwuemeka Nwakalor from Iruozobia Umueri and urged their neighbouring Aguleri people to release the two persons dead or alive.
According to the group, several appeals made through some Aguleri leaders and some good-spirited sons of the community for the release of the abducted persons had fallen on deaf ear, warning that the latest incident might stir another hostility in the area.
The statement said: “While Umueri awaits for the official response from Aguleri—positively or negatively —the news making the rounds from Aguleri seems provocative and negating our efforts to calm down our youths. There is threat and the rumour of impending war and name calling of our illustrious son, who incidentally is related paternally and maternally with the two missing persons.
“Let it be on record that Umueri has no plans or agenda to wage war against Aguleri or any other community for that matter. All the threats of war are the imagination of those whose breads are buttered through the crisis.
“We enjoin Igbo people all over the world, the leader of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Southeast governors forum, respected clergymen, well-meaning Nigerians and those in the private sector to help us drive our demands to ensure continuous peaceful coexistence between our two communities.
“Specifically, we demand immediate release of our abducted brothers, dead or alive. If they are no longer living, effort should be made to toe the traditional line to atone for those murdered in cold blood, so that the issues could be resolved once and for all”.
While commending Governor Willie Obiano for ensuring that one of their daughters, who was also allegedly abducted at Isiokwe, Aguleri had since reunited safely with her family after two days of traumatic experience, they appealed to the governor to also ensure that justice was done in the matter by instructing security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the act and punish them accordingly.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Ikenga Tochukwu said he was not aware of the abduction, even as he promised to investigate the allegation.