Of David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Peace returned to Ifite-Nteje village in Oyi council of Anambra state after local youths staged a peaceful march from Oyi police station to the village square under the supervision of men of the Nigerian Police led by the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the area.
Most of the participants in the peaceful march are said to be back in the community after their alleged involvement in a series of crises that plagued the community, resulting in a total breakdown of public order and the death of many people.
Some of the young men are said to have taken refuge in nearby communities to avoid alleged indiscriminate arrest and detention for the duration of the crisis.
In his speech in the village square, a youth leader, Mr. Chinedu Okechukwu, called on the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to come to their aid, adding that they were distinguished members of the Eastern Security Network and unknown gunmen as a way to plot while their ancestral lands were sold.
The youth leader called on the youths of Nteje to avoid all acts that could threaten peace in the community, saying nothing can be achieved without dialogue.
In her reaction, Comrade Emma Anaugwu, who lost her son during the crisis, called for calm and for young men to embrace peace, urging the community to be fully involved in the burial of her son.
Also, a member of the assembly of the village of Ifite-Nteje, Mr. chinenye Ekwenze, whose house was razed; called for unity of purpose among the youth of the village.
The Nteje community had experienced a protracted crisis for many years, following problems arising from the sale of communal lands and the struggle for chieftaincy under the reign of the late Igwe Roland Odegbo, leading to the installation of two committees of different guardians. The state government recognizes the interim committee headed by Chief Bennet Chiweze, which has been in office for more than four years.