By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi

The Chairman of Edda Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, Prince Chima Ekuma Nkama has warned the Waring Amaeto and their neighbouring Ogiri Villages to steer clear of the disputed land as it is now a buffer zone.

Ekuma Nkama gave the warning, Thursday, when he met with stakeholders of both communities at Edda North Development Centre secretariat, Oso Edda.

Recall both Amaeta and Ogiri villages were, on Wednesday, embroiled in a crisis over disputed land.

Meanwhile, the council chairman warned that any native of both communities that violates the directive would be severely dealt with by security agencies.

This was as he urged the people to take the directive seriously and eschew violence in order not to lose out in the current state government led by Governor Francis Nwifuru.

He harped on the need for the warring villages to embrace peace or face the wrath of the law.

He reiterated that the primary role of every government is the protection of lives and property, which according to him, the state government is determined to do.

He appealed to the two neighbouring villages not to engage in a land dispute at this time, saying it was wiser for them to dedicate more energy and resources to farming to avoid famine in future.

He said, “Consider this opportunity given to you by the state government to make peace, for this peace to reign. Consider the people here who had one or two official engagements today, but abandoned them to be here, for this peace to reign.

“Therefore, I urge you people to embrace peace. This is not the time to fight; if you fight now instead of doing your farm work, it means famine beckons tomorrow. So, let’s embrace peace.

“By the power conferred on me as Chairman of Edda Local Government Area, where these two neighbouring villages are located, I hereby declare the land in dispute a buffer zone, from now onwards.

“It means no native from either Amaeta village or Ogiri village should enter into the area, for farming or any other activity until further notice.

“Take this decision very seriously. Don’t taste the water. Don’t try the government. If anybody goes against this order, I will instruct the security agencies to deal with such a person. And so it’s in your own best interest not to violate this directive.”

He thanked the security agencies and stakeholders for ensuring that tranquillity and orderliness reigned during the meeting.

However, a buffer zone is a neutral area serving to separate hostile forces or nations.

Meanwhile, the two leaders of the two ‘warring’ villages have signed an undertaking to ensure a peaceful co-existence in the area.

Agreeing to sustain the peace efforts of the local government chairman, they observed the two villages are ‘brothers’, stressing nothing should cause a quarrel between them.

The undertaking, which was signed by Chief Uduma Agwu and Mr Clement Eze for Amaeta village; Chief Ude Orji and Osuu Ama Okoro for Ogiri village, read in part, “That the two villages henceforth are barred from entering into the troubled portion of the land which has been declared Buffer zone by the Executive Chairman of Edda LGA, Prince Chima Ekuma Nkama.

“That henceforth anybody seen with an armed weapon shall be apprehended and prosecuted, accordingly.

“That henceforth, we the two villages shall maintain adequate peace and tranquillity, failure of which shall attract arrest and prosecution.”

Recall both Amaeta and Ogiri villages were, on Wednesday, embroiled in a crisis over disputed land.

The incident allegedly led to the burning of one car, house, and left scores sustaining varying degrees of machete injuries.

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