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Resolve Uzanu/Igiode Dispute, APDA Tells Obaseki

Afenmai Patriotic Development Association (APDA) has urged the government of Edo State, Southern Nigeria, to resolve the dispute between the Uzanu and Igiode communities.

The association made this plea in a statement signed by its President, Kennedy Izuagbe and General Secretary, Lucky Anyia.

The social political organization urged the state government to dialogue with the two main political figures of the communities – Clem Agba and Francis Alimikhena.

The association added that the boundary dispute between the two communities should not be politicized.

APDA said the matter should rather be handled as brothers and good neighbours who have been coexisting from time immemorial.

It noted that, “for the avoidance of doubt where there is no peace, development would not be within reach.”

The association therefore urged Governor Godwin Obaseki to rescind the revoke of the clanship of Uzanu and the dethronement of its king.

APDA also appealed to Obaseki to consider the following amongst others for immediate action:

1. Restore the South East Uneme Clan.

2. Reconsider the decision to dethrone the South East Uneme Clan Head.

3. Release the detained Uzanu community leaders

4. Drop the threat to issue a warrant of arrest on the Honourable Minister Prince Clem Agba.

5. Provide an enabling environment to have both communities resolve this dispute through mediation in very convivial atmosphere.

The association implored the governor to “facilitate a quick amicable resolution of the seeming intractable boundary dispute.”

 

Below is the statement:

The Afenmai Patriotic Development Association (APDA), a social political organization from Edo north is deeply concerned about the recent unpalatable developments regarding the boundary dispute between Igiode and Uzanu, two brotherly, Afenmai Communities.

As a foremost Political/Social Pressure group in Afenmai land, we are not unaware of the sustained private efforts that have been made over the years and most recently not only to have the dispute resolved amicably but permanently too.

By our assessment, the recent efforts were moving steadily to a seamless resolution of the crisis including withdrawal of all court cases before the recent government intervention that culminated in:

1. Detention of some Uzanu community leaders

2. Dethronement of the Oliola of Uzanu

3. Revocation of the South East Uneme Clan

4. Threat of issuing a warrant of arrest on the Honourable Minister for State Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba.

We however strongly appeal to the Edo state Governor, His Excellency Mr Godwin Obaseki to rescind the decision to revoke the clanship of Uzanu and the dethronement of its king. The Association is of the opinion that this dethronement of Uzanu Oliola and clan revocation is not likely to bring about the much needed peace.

The Association believes that these are two communities that have lived together as one for centuries, therefore a border dispute should not lead to revocation of clanship that had earlier been properly instituted and duly gazetted. We therefore appeal that the

Government takes a second look at the revocation of the South East Uneme Clan as it has no direct bearing on the boundary matter.

The Associaton believes that with the two illustrious sons from the Uzanu community and Igiode community, in the persons Prince Clem Agba and Senator Francis Alimikhena that the matter can be brought to a round table and be resolved. With these two powerful political figures, we believe that the matter should not be politicized but handled as brothers and good neighbours who have been coexisting from time immemorial.

For the avoidance of doubt where there is no peace, development would not be within reach.

Today, Afenmai is blessed to have a Prince Clem Agba as Hon.Minister of State for Budget and National Planning just the way Afenmai has Distinguished Senator Francis Alimhikhena. This blessing ought to be maximized to the fullest by attracting infrastructural development to the long suffering Afenmai people. Senator Alimikhena has over the years done very well having been engaged in several social intervention projects to the relief of his Afenmai constituents. It is difficult to have a community in Afenmai that has not benefited from these projects. On the other hand, Prince Clem Agba has been flying the development agenda of President Mohammadu Buhari through Federal Government’s allocated N34 billion for the construction of rural roads under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP). At the instance of Mr President, the Federal Government had, in the light of the ravaging pandemic, approved the construction of 377 rural roads in 266 communities nationwide, along the agro-corridor. There is no doubt Afenmai as a people has benefited from this program in no small way with new alsphalted roads springing up in hitherto forgotten rural areas and other infrastructural developments that are ongoing in the short time he has been in office. We never knew Federal (Executive) Government impact could be this close to Afenmai until Prince Clem Agba arrived the scene. We never had it so good.

Consequently, to pave a way for an amicable resolution of the boundary and other issues that have been generated by the recent government actions, we call on Edo state Government to among others consider the following for immediate action:

1. Restore the South East Uneme Clan.

2. Reconsider the decision to dethrone the South East Uneme Clan Head.

3. Release the detained Uzanu community leaders

4. Drop the threat to issue a warrant of arrest on the Honourable Minister Prince Clem Agba.

5. Provide an enabling environment to have both communities resolve this dispute through mediation in very convivial atmosphere.

Your Excellency, without prejudice to the matters in court, the Afenmai Patriotic Development Association hereby appeals to the Edo State Government to give the Association the opportunity to convene a meeting between Uzanu and Igiode communities to amicably resolve this matter as we believe we have the capacity to.

As a peoples Governor who rode on the Goodwill of the people to earn a second term in office, we believe that His Excellency will grant our request which will undoubtedly, facilitate a quick amicable resolution of the seeming intractable boundary dispute.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Mr Lucky Anyia

General Secretary

 

SHC Kennedy Izuagbe

President

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