Local News

Warring communities urged to sheath swords

By Sunday Iduh

They stated this in a recent joint press conference on the lingering security challenges in Ado Local Government Area of Benue State and Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

They said, ”as the Senators representing Ebonyi North Senatorial District and Benue South Senatorial District, we are here to brief you on recent security concerns that have substantially threatened the peace and development of the people of Ohaukwu and Ado LGAs in our Senatorial Districts.

”On Monday the 12th day of April, 2021, herdsmen invaded Umuogudu Akpu community, Ngbo in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and gruesomely killed over 12 innocent indigenes, burnt and destroyed over 56 houses and kidnapped five persons. We condemn, in strongest terms, this senseless and gruesome murder of our people and wanton destruction of property and urge security operatives to move into the affected communities and secure lives and property of the people.”

On the Ngbo/Agila land dispute, they disclosed that there have been sustained efforts on their parts to finally settle the land dispute and restore lasting peace between Ngbo people in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and the Agila people in Ado LGA of Benue State, which have lingered over the years.

“Motions have been raised on the floor of the Senate, resolutions passed by the Senate and efforts sustained at the State and Federal levels to ensure that lasting peace is restored between the two communities. We know that both communities have embraced the proposed rebeaconing and delimitation exercise by the National Boundary Commission.

“We therefore, urge that the exercise should be carried out with dispatch to finally put an end to all the boundary-related crises in our Senatorial Districts,” they stated.

The two senators explained that another area of concern is the Ezza/Effium crisis, which according to them started in Effium community in Ebonyi State and spilled into Ado LGA in Benue State because of the presence of Ezzas/Effiumites in Ado LGA.

They said it is regrettable that the crisis is yet to be contained, leading to the relocation of some Efium and Ezza people to neighbouring communities both in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and Ado LGA of Benue State, thereby, creating apprehension in those neighbouring communities.

“The abduction of five elders from Odum community of Ulayi District, Ado LGA before Easter Sunday heightened the tension between the affected communities. However, the timely intervention of the government to contain the situation has prevented any form of retaliation or reprisal. It was resolved that the Traditional Council of Ado Local Government should reach out to the elders and traditional leaders of Ohaukwu LGA to broker more peaceful negotiations and resolution of the matter.

“We therefore, call on the Governments of Benue and Ebonyi States to put in greater efforts and in collaboration with relevant Federal Government agencies, take immediate practical steps to ensure immediate release of all abducted persons and restoration of lasting peace between the affected communities.

“We request the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to the families of the victims and displaced persons in the affected communities.

“We urge our people in the affected communities to please apply restraint, avoid all forms of violence and maintain peaceful co-existence and be rest assured that we will do everything within our power and influence to ensure the restoration of lasting peace in the affected communities,” they maintained.

 

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