By: Sunday R. Onwudiofu
Urum and Achalla are communities in Awka North Council Area that have enjoyed cordial/ mutual relationship for centuries with special regards to each other’s corporate existence as distinct community. For more than three centuries or thereabouts they have coexisted in perfect peace and harmony. They did not at any time disagree over anything at all most especially their boundaries where were drawn over so many generations in the past. No man or woman alive can confidently attest to when these boundaries were drawn by our forefathers. The boundaries are inheritance of the communities as well as the communities themselves; Ochiokwa lake and its tributaries remain the boundary between the two communities and it is still there for all to see and it was religiously by our forefathers; and it was sacrosanct to them. They farm on the land and each community dutifully observed their boundary; without trespassing of any kind; all those while.
There is a village in Achalla called Udezu is the village at the boundary; and you can pass through the village before reaching other villages of Achalla from Urum. There had never been any disagreement at the boundary by any Udezu or Urum man; each community farm on their respective portions and exchanged labourers without molestations or hindrance of any kind in those days. There was happiness, contentment and cordial relationship till land grabbing/ merchandising came into being in our time. Our forefathers in their wisdom clearly agreed and drew the boundary between the two communities which nobody is in doubt that it was perfectly done. Also they kept observing the boundary all their days. They owned the land before us; also the communities were owned by them before we inherited them ( both community and lands). God was not foolish to grant wisdom to them (our forefathers) for peace to reign supreme between the two communities and they intermarried for years without any challenges. In this our time, greed and selfishness refuse to give peace chance to thrive in Awka North. Some people think irrationally refusing to listen to voice of reason. They wrongly believed that money is everything until they stir up trouble/ conflict cannot control or manage in our society. Urum and Achalla have no no reason to disagree or fight each other. Our forefathers did everything to forestall disagreement; because land appreciates in value now. People see it as quickest way to make money. In view of this, some jump into their family Land; community land, neighbouring community’s land, and attempt to silence such people to seize and sale their land. The painful aspect of is that many youths are influenced to go for a fight and in the process they are wasted.
There has never been a war without casualties/ losses from both sides and nobody knows who the victims might be at the end because after conflict comes dialogue. Greed kills and people never talk of peace until the consequence gets out of hand. The money that is wasted in a fight can go a long way in acquisition of the property in dispute without waste of human life which is sacred to the Creator and controller of the universe. Think twice and use your money judiciously without skin pain. Our forefathers did everything within their powers to draw a clear boundary for the two communities with natural resources. Approach whoever owns the land you want and acquire as much as want which you can afford because lands are owned by families/ kindred and not community but not with disagreement and force. With your money or material possessions you can acquire land anywhere without problems through legal means of acquisition of property.
Conflict cannot yield any positive results but basket of regrets. Drop your weapons of war today because they don’t talk about peace but destruction of human lives and property. “Bitter cola is not as sweet as it sounds in the mouth”. We buy land in various big cities in Nigeria and abroad without fighting over them; why can’t we approach this situation the same way and allow the poor, the needy and the vulnerable to live their lives without disturbing their peace and threatening their fundamental human rights for corporate existence in this era of Coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging the world and its attendant effects. It is surprising that our leaders, elders and “Ozo” titled men conceal the truth and allow youths to waste away in order to fight unjust cause. No community grows without articulate and able bodied young men. We talk about money and lose sight of the good virtues of forefathers that led them throughout their life time. Let there be NO WAR because it will not augur well for the two communities in the future.
Be bold to tell those plotting this evil to stop it will terminate their family lineage.
“TRUTH IS BITTER AND OBSTINATE BECAUSE IT REFUSES TO QUIT”.
WE ARE NOT DEVELOPED LIKE OTHER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS IN ANAMBRA STATE, YET WE ARE FIGHTING WAR AMONG OURSELVES, LET US NOT SET OUR COMMUNITIES TWENTY YEARS BACKWARDS.
“…… BE WISE”.