Aguleri, Umueri Alliance Key To Omambala Economic, Political Relevance In Anambra
Peace between Aguleri and Umueri communities has been identified as crucial for the political and economic progress in the Omambala region of Anambra.
This was the Crux of the matter at the 3rd Okanga Aguleri Lecture held in Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area.
Theme of the Lecture was “Harnessing The Strength of Omambala People For Sustainable Relevance In The Future Politics Of Anambra State And Nigeria”.
Gov Willie Obiano, the outgoing governor is from Aguleri and the first to occupy the seat from the area.
The Omambala region is made up of people on the bank of Omambala from Uzo-Uwani to River Nigeria, they occupy about 55 communities in four Local Government Areas including Anambra East, Anambra West, Oyi and Anyamelum.
Chief Michael Udah, Director, Media and Communication South East Governors’ Forum, the lead discussant of the lecture said both communities shared common culture, history and ancestry and that the animosity was needles.
Udah said Aguleri and Umueri were the leading touch bearer communities in the Omambala region and that tension between them had a resonating effect on the rest of the region just as Israel and Palestine tension was affecting the entire Middle East.
He said rather than continue to engage in communal wars against each other, Omambala people should apply some of its natural resources for maximum gain instead of being recruitment ground for militias and security men.
Udah said it was good that the newly built Anambra Cargo Airport was sited in the area but peace in the region was a precondition for the people to enjoy the benefits.
According to Udah, no sane person takes his/her investment to Afghanistan.
“Youths of Omambala have become ”security men” and are in high demand not only in nearby Onitsha, but also even in distant,Lagos Trade Fair and Alaba International Markets, off Badagry Expressway, Lagos.
*With the imminent exit of Chief Willie Obiano as governor in March, what are the chances of the survival of Omabala people in the Anambra bureaucracy,, Academia, Health among others ?
Aguleri and Umueri have to sheath their swords, so that passengers from all over the world will not be afraid to fly to Umueri Airport.
“Our greatest challenge in the Omabala area is insecurity; something akin to the Hobbesian state of nature where there was war of one against all and all against one,” he said.
In his Lecture, Prof. Kenneth Ofokansi, Dean Pharmaceutical Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka said the Omambala should de-emphasise what divides them but build a strong network of cultural fusion and collaboration.
Ofokansi called for formation of Omambala Political Power Bloc devoid of partisan, religious or sectional consideration which should be built around Obiano, the governor of Anambra who had proven to be a rallying point for the people of the area
He noted that Omambala was important to Anambra remained strategic endowments which nobody should play games with in the political permutations of the state.
“The geographical location and population of Omabala people is of strategic political significance, No government ever jokes or plays games with its source of revenue.
“Being the gateway of the State to the northern part of the country and with a politically conscious population of around 650, 000 people, the Omabala people can become a game changer when it matters most.
“The implication of this is that the people of Omabala cannot be taken for a ride should they clamour for a just cause in the State,” he said.
In his speech, Sen. Victor Umeh, who was chairman of the occasion called on President Muhammadu Buhari to grant assent to the Bill For Establishment of University of Education in Aguleri.
Umeh said the Bill which he sponsored during his days on the Debate had been passed twice but had not been assented to by the president.
He said if established, the institution would address the restiveness and unemployment in the area..