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Igbo group kicks against proposed Orlu State

The socio-cultural organization Ogbako Ohaji People’s Forum in Imo State has opposed including the Ohaji people in the proposed Orlu State, citing significant cultural, social, and geographical differences.

Their stance follows the bill for the creation of Orlu State, sponsored by Ikenga Ugochinyere, which has passed its first reading in the House of Representatives.

In a letter addressed to Speaker of the House of Representatives Tajudeen Abbas, the forum argued that their inclusion in the proposed state was driven by selfish interests rather than the will of their people.

The forum emphasized Ohaji’s proximity to Owerri, the capital of Imo State, and their historical and cultural ties to the city. They also warned that inclusion in Orlu State would result in further marginalization and deprivation.

The letter, signed by various Ohaji community leaders including Sir Fidelis Enyia, Dr. Theodore Amunwa, Destiny Isinwa, and Mr. Nicholas Nwosu, demanded that Ohaji remain part of Imo State, where 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.

“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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