Scores of people have been killed, with no fewer than 7,000 Igbeagu Izzi indigenes of Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State displaced following the inter-communal crisis between Izzi people and their counterparts in Ukele, Cross River State.
It was reported that over 1,500 houses were destroyed by Ukele militia group fighting in Izzi LGA as so many displaced Izzi people were seen on Abakaliki-Ogoja highway trekking with their belongings to Abakaliki to seek refuge. Addressing displaced persons who converged at Ndi- Akparata Nwenyi village in Igbeagu community in Izzi LGA, the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr. Kelechi Igwe directed the Cantonment Commander, Lt. Sa’aad Sadiq to immediately deploy more troops to the troubled zone to ensure the safety of both Ebonyians in Izzi and foreigners travelling along the Abakaliki-Ogoja trans Sahara highway.
The deputy governor, who appealed to Izzi people to maintain peace and order, assured them that the state government would not fold its arms and watch Ebonyi people slaughtered on the altar of insecurity and wickedness. He further condemned the killing of human beings by the militia group, which according to him, remain sacred and should be held in high esteem by all and sundry irrespective of the issue at stake.
The Deputy Governor’s convoy along with other security personnel including the army, police and DSS took a ride along the Abakaliki-Ogoja trans Sahara highway to access the level of carnage meted out on Izzi people by the Cross River militia group.
Confirming the number of those displaced and houses destroyed, the chairman of Izzi LGA, Hon. Paul Nwogha who lamented the level of destruction in all the affected villages in Izzi community noted that most of the villages had been deserted as some of the displaced persons were still in dire need of refuge and what to eat. He appreciated the state government for coming to the aid of Izzi people, adding that what is needed now is a holistic and sincere approach to the matter by both sides of the divide. According to him, no human being, goat or chicken was seen within the affected community as everybody had ran away for safety.
Also, the Commander, Nwakgu Military Cantonment, Lt. Col. Sa’aad Sadiq who stated that more troops had been deployed from Cross River and Abakaliki to quell the crisis called on the people of Izzi to cooperate with the peace process by attending security meetings intended to nip the crisis in the bud. The Cantonment Commander assured Izzi people of their safety as the military was working round the clock to bring lasting peace in both affected LGAs of Ebonyi and Cross River States. At the time of filing this report, the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr. Kelechi Igwe had entered a security meeting with stakeholders of Izzi LGA and security personnel on how to peacefully resolve the inter communal clash between Ebonyi and Cross river States.
Culled From: Vanguard
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