A traditional ruler in Imo State, Ichie Okwuruka Otugeme, has called on the state government to resolve the autonomous status of Eziama community in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area.
Otugeme said, in Lagos, on Friday, that the unresolved status of the community and its headship had created unnecessary tension among adjoining communities in the area.
“The community is also embroiled in the crisis of who would be its traditional ruler when granted autonomous status.
“The issues has created tension and fear of domination among some villages in the area.
“A community that was once a peaceful homestead is on the brink of erupting into a fierce communal rift as a result of rivalry and perceived greed and domination by other communities,’’ the traditional ruler said.
Otugeme said Nneano comprising four villages — Abaeke, Okai, Umudike and Umukaje and Dim Luwe made up of three villages — Okpoalla, Umuezealaanyike and Umunachi-Ndiowo — are in dispute in respect of Eziama autonomous community application and who should be their traditional ruler.
According to him, the two groups are insisting that they should produce the traditional ruler if the community is granted autonomy status.
He said:“At the moment, there is fragile peace in the community with petitions, counter-petitions, and name-calling.
To forestall a breakdown of law and order in the area, Otugeme called for urgent intervention by the police and other security agencies.
“The Police should move into the community without further delay to forestall breakdown of law and order.
“Stakeholders should also help to resolve the matter amicably,’’ he urged.
Otugeme, however, called on Imo Government to take a decision urgently on the status of Eziama that had applied for autonomous community status so that peace could return to the area. (NAN)