Posted by News Express | 11 September 2020 | 566 times
By CHARLES IWUOHA
The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mohammadu Mohammed, at the weekend expressed worry over the increasing rate of communal clashes in Ebonyi State.
Mohammed spoke while distributing emergency relief items to over 2,000 peasant farmers of Amagu community in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, who were displaced fom their residences as a result of communal crisis.
News Express gathered that the relief materials were approved by President Muhammadu Buhari through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
Mohammed, represented by the Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr. Fred Anoziem, said that the materials were aimed at providing succour to the victims. He listed the benefitting communities as Ochuenyum, Oferekpe, Agubia communities and parts of Alike community.
The NEMA DG stated that the agency was aware of the various communal clashes arising from boundary disputes, internal political maneuverings, and traditional titles tussle, among others.
He noted that the boundary clashes involved communities in Ikwo and those involving Ikwo and their neighbours in Cross River State.
According to him, “The agency is aware of the border/land boundary dispute that erupted between Ikwo and Cross River communities in in April 2013; also, in June 2016 another report of crisis from the area reached us while the third was reported in January this year.
“Communities involved have been completely displaced and their farmlands declared buffer zones.
“It is therefore a sad note to lose lives, property and those affected pass through the trauma of displacement over crises which has recently assumed greater dimension.”
Mohammed, however, urged most communities to shun communal crises noting that it is regrettable that youths of these days no longer have regard or fear for human lives or respect for tradition and constituted authorities.
“Ebonyi has been known hitherto known for peace, unity and love for communal development is gradually turning into a theatre of hostilities.
“The number of crises recorded in the state and by extension Ikwo LGA in the past few years evidence is that; cordial age – long relationship has turned sour, government has lost man-hour, man-power and resources meant for development,” he added.
The NEMA DG called for a rethink, self appraisal and attitudinal reorientation to curtail and contain spate of communal conflicts in the various communities adding that lives lost to conflicts would never be regained.
In his remarks, the lawmaker representing Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency, Comrade Chinedu Ogah, who attracted the relief materials to Ikwo community, commended Buhari for approving the fund for the materials and assured that the materials would be adequately distributed to the benefiting communities.
The lawmaker said that he was liaising with his colleagues from Cross River State in the House of Representatives to find a lasting solution to the intractable interstate boundary disputes.
According to him, “Though the relief materials are meant for three communities, we are going to extend the materials to other victims in Igbudu and Ekpomaka communities as well as other victims of conflicts because more are coming.”
Materials distributed included 503 bags 5 kilogram parboiled rice, 503 kilogram bags of garri, 403 bags of beans, 61 bags of salt, 125 bags of granulated sugar among others.
Non-food materials included 1,500 pieces of blankets, 1,500 pieces of mosquito nets, 1,000 mattresses, 1,200 pieces of ceiling boards, 1,400 bags of cement among others.
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