By Phil Okose, Onitsha
The people of Umuezegbute quarters of Isu village, Oba, Idemili South local government area, Anambra state, have accused land grabbers in the community of deceiving them to wage war against their brothers in the next village, Ezele Mbana quarters of Ezele village, in a bid to cause trouble so that they (land grabbers) would lay hands on people’s lands.
Making this accusation during the signing of a peace pact last Wednesday between the two villages, the spokesman of Umuezegbute village, Chief Emmanuel C. Nwanegbo (a.k.a. Ezechukwunyelu) hinted that land grabbers have been a thorn in the flesh of the people of Ezele Mbana village throughout this year.
To buttress his point, he revealed that it was the land grabbers, who deceived the Ezele Mbana village to drag Umuezegbute (their landlord) to court and today, the Ezele Mbana people have realised their error, mistakes and have understood that it is better to live in peace than war.
“We have welcome the idea and have accepted and acknowledged and have ceded the land to Ezele Mbana permanently for posterity. What we have done today, being 18th November, 2020, is signing the peace pact that peace has fully returned between Ezele Mbana and Umuezegbute villages, that we have ceded our land to Ezele Mbana to occupy, and signaling an end to unnecessary land tuzzle, it is fulfilment of a prophecy.”
He urged the land grabbers to tow the part of peace and look for legitimate means of livelihood, instead of intimidating people they felt they were bigger than, thereby, encroaching into the land. The land grabbers should understand that we have limited time to stay on this planet earth. Whatever you leave behind will be for you, your generation and posterity. Therefore, live clean life; go and struggle and look for other means of livelihood instead of selling people’s lands.”
Recall that on 28th day of February, 2020, Umuezegbute got judgment in suit No. HID/92/1999, when it was sued by Ezele Mbana over land issue. Basking in the euphoria of its victory, Umuezegbute, on 3rd August, 2020, executed the court judgment by entering the land with armed policemen and bulldozers that commenced destruction of residential buildings, vehicles, motorbikes and other possessions of the defeated plaintiff (Ezele Mbana) and scores of people sustained various degrees of injuries.
An eight-man peace committee led by the regent, Prince Noel Ezenwa, as chairman, was formed immediately with Nze Ifeanyichukwu Onwupenata as an alternative chairman.
The committee succeeded in restoring peace, and both warring factions agreed and dumped an Ogbaru High Court judgment that ceded the land to Umuezegbute.
It was jubilation galore at Umuezegbute hall when the two villages signed the peace pact, vowing that the land in dispute would from last Wednesday remain property of Ezele Mbana people permanently.
Signing the peace pact, the regent said that, “it is for peace to reign that I am signing this agreement and whoever that says no to peace attracts catastrophe to himself.”
“It is only where there is peace that there is progress” and urged all to tow the part of peace in all their endeavours.
The regent recalled how he was troubled when the crisis went viral adding that today peace has been restored and commended God for giving them the strenght and wisdom for which they were able to achieve the peace.
In his speech, the alternative chairman, Nze Ifeanyichukwu Onwupenata (a.k.a. Obiaomee) stated that, “it is God that has made it possible for us to achieve this peace because without him all our efforts as peace committee would not have yielded dividend”
Speaking, Chief Benneth Chibueze, member of the committee, commended the regent for ensuring that peace was achieved and prayed God to reward him abundantly including Chief Onwubenata and others who worked day and night to achieve this feat.
The Acting President General of Oba Patriotic Union, Chief Clifford Maduwa Enendu, expressed datisfaction with the committee adding that when the execution of the court judgment commenced, “we cried and called on the regent who responded and restored peace with Nze Ifeanyichukwu Onwupenata (a.k.a. Obiaomee)”