The Federal Government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has donated emergency relief materials worth millions of naira to communal clashes victims of three communities in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The food items include 503 bags of Parboiled Rice, 503 bags of Garri, 403 bags of Beans, 61 bags of iodized salt, 50 kegs of vegetable oil, 41 cartons of tomato paste, 147 cartons of Seasoning, 125 bags of granulated sugar while non-food items include 1500 pieces of blanket, 1500 pieces of mosquito net, 1000pieces of mattresses, 1200 pieces of ceiling board, 1200 bags of cement, 1200 bundles of roofing sheets,100 bags of 3-inches nail, and 200 packets of zinc nail.
The affected communities include Ofenekpe, Ochuenyum, Agubia and parts of Alike.
The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mohammed Mohammed, while addressing the victims during the flagging of the direct distribution of the materials, advised the communities to prevent and avoid further crises in their area.
According to him, troubles do not grow from the ground rather they erupt through people and the resultant effect is the disruption of the normal life of people who may not have dreamt it nor are part of it.
Mohammed represented by Mr Fred Anoziem, South East Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, said that the materials which comprised foods and non-foods essential materials were aimed at providing succour to the victims of various Intra and inter-communities in Ikwo.
He then commended the House Member representing Ikwo/ Ezzagu South Federal Constituency, Hon. Chinedu Ogah for his enormous efforts at ensuring that the relief items were approved.
He said: “The agency is aware of the border/land boundary dispute that erupted between Ikwo and Cross River communities 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.”
He further added that the agency was aware of the various communal clashes rising through boundary disputes, internal political manoeuvrings, traditional titles tussle, among others in the state. He then urged them to have a rethink and self-examination, an appraisal of their ways of life stressing that any life lost can never be regained.
He then calls on the youths to have regard for human lives, respect traditions and other 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, the government has lost man-hour, man-power and resources meant for development,” he added.
In a remark, the federal lawmaker representing Ikwo /Ezza South Federal Constituency, Mr Chinedu Ogah, who attracted the relief materials to Ikwo community, commended Buhari for approving the fund for the materials and noted that he is still making efforts 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,” he said.
Meanwhile, Governor David Umahi represented by pastor Ken Eze executive secretary SEMA thanked the federal government for giving hope to the hopeless victims.