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Okwagbe/Owhawha Crisis: Waive calls for peace, says it’s a needless fight 

Rt Rev Hòn Francis Ejiroghene Waive

The member representing Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Udu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt Rev Hon Francis Ejiroghene Waive, has called on the warring factions in the Okwagbe/Owhawha communal conflicts to embrace pace.

The lawmaker who stated this in a press statement he personally signed, decried frequent communal crises in the area, expressed sadness over the killing of one another by people of common heritage, whose forefathers lived together for hundreds of years without any war amongst them.

Waive appealed to the community leaders and youth to shelter their sword, noting that the land at the center of the crises belongs to God and that those fighting and killing their brothers today because of land, will one day die and leave the land behind, as such fighting over farmland is a needless one.

The statement reads:

CALL FOR PEACE

This is a clarion call on my people the good people of Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Udu Federal Constituency for peace. The communal conflicts are becoming too frequent. From Agbowiameh/Erhiawarien to Ekuigbo/Iwhreko to Obubu/Oleri to Oghior/Ukpiovwhin to the Communities around Utorogu Gas Plant and now Okwagbe/Owhawha. We are all one people with a common heritage. Our ancestors lived together for hundreds of years without any war amongst them. We have also lived together peacefully without any acrimony until the recent misunderstandings.

What is happening now is strange. Strange to our history, culture and religion. Several lives have been lost and properties worth billions of naira destroyed. Livelihoods of our people are affected.

Most of these conflicts are centered around the ownership of land. We know that land belongs to God. We all met the land and will all die someday leaving land behind. The fights and war amongst us are simply needless and worthless.

Anyone can initiate a war by inciting others but no one can tell how a war will end or who will be the casualties. Peace is always better than war. Diplomacy should be employed rather than violence.

I have had to spend countless hours and days reaching out to Community and Youth leaders, Security Agencies, Traditional Rulers and leaders, LGA Chairmen, political and religious leaders and others in different spheres of influence during these challenging times to restore and maintain peace. Negotiation is better than war. Tug of war results in nothing but ill-feeling, injury, death, poverty and everything evil. Violence puts a stop to development. War does nothing but cause pain and suffering. We need tolerance and negotiation which are unfailing peace strategies.

I urge our people to use nonviolent tactics like judicial processes, information warfare, lobbying, and in the spirit of give and take to handle issues.

I specially thank all our leaders who have worked hard to restore peace in each of the communities where violence had occurred.

Since the Okwagbe/Owhawha crisis is the latest, let me specifically call on both sides to embrace peace and refrain from any action that can negatively affect the relative peace now enjoyed.

 

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Signed

Rt Rev Hòn Francis Ejiroghene Waive

Honourable member representing the entire people of Ughelli North Ughelli South Udu Federal Constituency House of Representatives

Dated this 3rd day of November 2021

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