The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) has condemned the renewed communal clashes between the people of Enyibichiri, Izzi in Abakaliki Local Government Area and Echialike, Ikwo, Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi over a lingering land dispute, demanding an end to the hostility.
The Ebonyi indigenes also condemned in totality the abduction of some Izzi children by fighters alleged to be from the Echi-Alike area.
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In a statement released to newsmen Sunday in Abuja by its President worldwide, Amb. Paschal Oluchukwu, the group expressed concerns over the attacks on lives and property by natives of the two communities who were peaceful and peace-loving brothers of the same Ekumenyi progenitor.
“Though we had condemned this renewed hostilities, we find this latest news of the abduction of under-aged children most perturbing.
“As parents, we cannot imagine how traumatized their wards and parents must have been since the ugly news of their abduction broke.
“It is a common knowledge therefore that the anger over the latest development on the crisis must have necessitated the reported attacks on Ikwo natives even in the Abakaliki capital city and the heightening apprehension over reprisal attacks that have since pervaded the two popular clans.
“As at the last count, we scooped that some prominent Ikwo natives have deserted the capital city to some other parts of the region and the country while those who may not afford the luxury of travelling that far have relocated to their Ikwo communities.
While wondering how a once-peaceful state had become a spectacle of communal wars since Governor Dave Umahi came to power in 2015, the group said the situation is getting worse since January 22nd when the Effium killings started.
The group blamed the governor for not doing enough to arrest the security challenges in the state.
“From attacks between indigenous Effium natives versus Ezza-Effium in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi North to Iyionu in Ishielu in Ebonyi Central and Ikwo versus Izzi in the same Central Senatorial zone to Ishinkwo Ukawu versus Abaomege (who are still Ekumenyi brothers) in Ebonyi South, is it not reasonable to suspect that these could all be part of the desperate antics of Governor Umahi to make sure that the Umuekumenyi brothers do not have a common voice when they go into elections in 2023?
“Already, some political pundits have also wondered why it is Ikwo which has the largest political wards in the State with as much as 20 political wards of any LGA in the State and the Izzi that is one of the clans with the largest number of voters that would suddenly be up in arms against one another.
“When will Umahi return our beloved state to the peaceful path he met it and end these persistent bloodsheds?
“We conclude by demanding the immediate release of the reportedly abducted kids and asking leaders of thoughts from Umuekumenyi to convoke an extraordinary, apolitical stakeholders meeting which shall involve all youths and key stakeholders to address these challenges and embrace peaceful co-existence among one another.
“We feel they would be the greatest losers to go into any form of war with each other when it is even now that they need each other most.
“They should therefore prove their enemies and traducers wrong by not only amicably resolving this dispute but ensure that going forward, they would be no love lost between and among brothers of the same Ekumenyi progenitor.
“This, AESID believes is the best way to go for any meaningful development to be initiated and sustained in their local communities.”