Peace has finally returned to the rich Owaza community in Ukwa west local Government Area of Abia state after the killing of two soldiers in the area caused crisis which saw many residents flee their homes following military invasion of the community.
The peace efforts was brokered by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai, the senator representing Abia south in the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, his House of Representatives counterpart for Ukwa federal constituency, Uzoma Abonta and leaders of the Owaza community.
It should be recalled that members of the oil rich community have been on the run for over two weeks following the killing of two soldiers and snatching of their riffles in Okorhia-Uzuaku community, also in Ukwa West LGA same as Owaza.
The incident as gathered made soldiers attached to the 144 battalion of the Nigerian Army, Asa, Ukwa West LGA besiege the oil rich community, arresting people in search of the guns of their murdered colleagues.
The people lamented that the killing which never took place in Owaza has brought untold hardship on them, leading to the death of five persons who were running and trying to escape from the massive arrest by the army.
Speaking to Journalists, HRH Eze Obioma Nworgu, Eze-Oha-1 of Etitioha-Owaza, condemned the killing of the soldiers by unknown men, and specifically thanked Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai for hearing the cries of Owaza people.
Eze Nworgu also thanked the Senator representing Abia South Senatorial Zone, Enyinnaya Abaribe and Member Representing Ukwa-East and Ukwa-West Federal Constituency, Hon. Uzoma Abonta for the role they played in speaking with the military hierarchies in Abuja.
He said that his people have always lived peacefully with the military for many years and will never contemplate any act they will bring about breakdown of law and order not to talk of trying to kill the same committed soldiers that are protecting them.
Eze Nworgu also expressed his gratitude to Maj-Gen. Lasisi Adegboye, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu and military authorities at the 14 Brigade Ohafia and the 144 Battalion, Asa for the free medical treatment and palliatives given to the people just after peace returned to the area.
He said “We’re happy they came with the surprised package giving us palliatives and Medical treatments. This means that they are cooperating with us and we’ll continue to support them.
“I appreciate them for granting my request. We’ll work with them to ensure that the guns are recovered. We shall also look into ourselves and correct every mistake where necessary”.
“We can’t allow anything that can attract such things here again. I also thank the state for their own effort,” he said.
A community stakeholder, Comrade Onyemachi Dimgba said that his people are not happy over the whole incident, but are grateful to their king HRH Eze Obioma Nworgu for making a serious move that brought peace back to Owaza.
He lamented that aside the deaths already recorded, several other persons are still injured in the hospital while trying to escape for their dear lives.
He said; “In all, we say to God be the glory. He used our King (Eze Nworgu) who took a drastic step to Abuja to meet our representatives who responded adequately and pleaded with the military authorities to bring peace back to us.
“Our thanks go to both our King and our Federal Representatives. We’re grateful to our Senator and Federal Constituency Representative. The army gave him an award as a peaceful king.
“He’s a peacemaking king and the award he received is a testimony of that. We’re also happy with the state because we have no choice.
”This community is lacking a lot. The Army brought free Medical treatment here. They treated people and our people are back home.
“They also gave us palliatives. We’re grateful to them. We commend them and we shall continue to cooperate with our army because they’re helping us to make here safe.”