Valentine Ozigbo, a Nigerian business mogul and philanthropist, has condemned the recent communal clashes between the neighbouring towns of Aguleri and Umuleri in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Mr Ozigbo, in a press statement issued to journalists on Sunday, January 17, 2021, decried the recurring violence between both communities describing the development as is “entirely condemnable”, while suing for authorities to intervene and establish a lasting peace.
Ozigbo, who is the leading governorship aspirant in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), also stressed the importance of peace to society’s progress and development.
Last year, I travelled through the 21 local government areas of Anambra State, preaching on the importance of peace to our collective progress and prosperity. To this effect we ran a public interest campaign to send the message home to our people,” Ozigbo said.
In December 2020, my foundation, held an event, Walk4Peace still to drive home this important message of peace and love.
It is unfortunate that the dispute between Aguleri and Umuleri has been allowed to degenerate to this worrisome level. Violence never solves the problem; it only makes things worse.
As Ndi Anambra, a hurt to one of us is hurt to all of us. What we need now is proactive leadership at the state level to intervene by deescalating the conflict and deploying solutions to bring lasting peace to our brothers and sisters in these communities.
Community conflict in Anambra, and indeed Nigeria, should be made to be a thing of the past. Progressive societies have moved beyond conflict into co-operation. Ndi Anambra must evolve. We should be coming together to leverage our collective strength for progress,” Ozigbo admonished.
According to reports, disputes over farmland triggered this latest spate of violence between the Aguleri and Umuleri.
Both farming communities have had a long history of clashes, with the recent and most bloody, taking place in 1999, lasting for about three months and over 350 people were killed.
Ozigbo is the founder of Valentine Chineto Ozigbo (VCO) Foundation, one of the leading non-governmental organisations in Nigeria that focuses on youth development, women empowerment, leadership, and community building. My people of Aguleri/Umuleri please let peace rain among us so development will come into our community .
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