Imo group opposes inclusion in proposed Orlu State

Imo group opposes inclusion in proposed Orlu State

A socio-cultural organisation, Ogbako Ohaji People’s Forum in Imo State has opposed the inclusion of Ohaji people in the proposed Orlu State, noting huge cultural, social, and geographical differences.
The position is on the heels of the bill for the creation of Orlu State sponsored by Ikenga Ugochinyere, which has passed its first reading at the House of Representatives.
In a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, the forum stated that its inclusion in the proposed state was a result of selfishness and not a decision of their people.
The forum highlighted Ohaji ‘s proximity to Owerri, the capital of Imo State, and their historical and cultural ties to the city.
They also noted that their inclusion in Orlu State would lead to further marginalisation and deprivation.
In the letter signed by various leaders of the Ohaji community which included Sir Fidelis Enyia, Dr Theodore Amunwa, Destiny Isinwa, and Mr Nicholas Nwosu, the forum demanded to remain part of Imo State, which they said they rightfully belong.
The statement read, “The above organisation being the apex socio-cultural body speaking for the good people of Ohaji District in conjunction with other major stakeholders wholly and entirely support and commend the bill for the creation of Orlu State.
“For so long the people of the South-East have not left anyone in doubt that an additional state needed to be carved out for the geopolitical zone, this move therefore will not only correct the imbalance but will also go a long way to assuage, placate and give them a sense of belonging.
“However, Ohaji District in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State with a population of 177,940, made up of 20 autonomous communities vehemently detest and reject the move to include us (Ohaji) in the proposed bill for Orlu State. Ohaji District’s inclusion in Orlu Senatorial Zone ab initio was more of political conquest and selfishness of a few leaders who acquiesced to it then, hence an aberration whose time has come for correction.
“Another point or reason for our rejection of the proposed Orlu State has to do with distance. The capital of Imo State which is Owerri is a stone’s throw from any part of Ohaji town or village and can’t be more than 35 minutes drive, approximately 26 kilometres, coming from the extreme part of Ohaji.
“Whereas, the capital of the proposed Orlu State town is 69 kilometres which are roughly one hour and 24 minutes from Ohaji. Some of our communities have common boundaries with Owerri. For example, Avu, Okuku, Oforola, and Obinze all in Owerri share boundaries with Obosima, Ohoba, Umuokanne, and Mgbirichi all in Ohaji. Let the proponents of the bill for new state creation tell the world where we have any boundary with Orlu people talk more of other things.”

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