Prof. Francis Idike, the Chairman of the Igbeagu-Izzi Peace Committee in Ebonyi, has decried the recent killing of two Ndunwampfu natives in Igbeagu Autonomous Community of the state during an alleged invasion of the area.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee was set up by the state government to find a lasting solution to the persistent inter-communal conflicts between Igbeagu in Izzi Local Government Area (LGA) and their neighbouring Ukelle community in Yala LGA of Cross River.
Addressing newsmen at Izzi on the progress so far made by the committee, Idike expressed displeasure over the killings, coming after a two-month ceasefire by the two communities.
He said that the Igbeagu community wanted the state government to find a lasting solution to the problem.
He said that while the remains of one of the victims, David Nkwede, were recovered and deposited at a mortuary in the area, those of Dennis Nwaogayi, had yet to be found.
He also said that late Nwede’s wife and two of his children, who were abducted during the clash, had been released.
He blamed the last incident on a reprisal attack which, he said, posed a major challenge to the committee.
He said that the major objective of the committee was to put a stop to the incessant killings and confrontation between the two communities.
Idike said: “As part of our aims, we have established cordial relationship with the Ukelle people, which was accepted by them.
“For two months now, there has not been any unwanted incident which shows that our efforts towards making peace are working.
“Also in the process, we have maintained a good rapport with the military and I think we are succeeding, except for the recent attack.”
He appealed for mutual understanding and agreement between the two parties in order to permanently put a stop to the wanton killings and destruction of people’s property.
“We request that we have a meeting of delegates from both parties to initiate discussion on ways to achieve the desired peace.
“Our mutual desire is to seek ways to irrevocably resolve our persisting conflicts,” Idike said.
Mr John Nwenyi, a member of the committee, promised that the committee would continue to explore ways to restore normalcy in the affected communities.
“Boundary demarcation is our demand, we want it to be done so that peace will return, while we continue to preach peace,” Nwenyi said.
Council demands in-depth probe of Adamawa communal clash
The Adamawa Muslim Council has called on security agencies to conduct in-depth investigation without fear or favour into the recent communal clash in Tingno community of Lamurde Local Government Area of the state.
Jika regretted that many lives were lost, several people injured as a result of gunshots and properties destroyed.
He therefore called for thorough investigation to establish those who incited the clash and unleashed the mayhem.
The chairman regretted that most of the suspects arrested and paraded by the police were relatives of the victims or those that were cheated.
According to him, there are 940 women and children at the Lafia Internally Displaced Camp as a result of the attack.
He however commended the effort of the state government and the committee for taking good care of the victims.
Jika said only justice, fairness and equity could end the recurrent crisis and not the apparent bias being demonstrated against the victims.
Alhaji Umaru Yero, the Chairman, Tingno Victims Emergency Response Committee, also said two out of the 60 victims admitted at Federal Medical Centre and State Specialist Hospital, Yola, had died.
He added that seven victims are currently receiving treatment, while the remaining were discharged.
Yero explained that all the victims sustained injuries from gunshots.
He also commended the state government for settling all the medical bills and feeding of the patients.
Communal crisis: Igbo leader warns youths against land grabbing
Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, President, Ohaneze Ndigbo in Anambra has called on various communities in the state to discourage youths from land grabbing to avoid communal conflict.
Okeke-Ogene made the call at a press briefing on Friday in Awka.
He said that if such practice was left unchecked, it would have socio-economic consequences on Igboland in the nearest future.
The Igbo leader said that land grappling among youths has been identified as one of the causes of intra and inter-community crisis, noting that Igbo culture encouraged protection of land inheritance.
Okeke-Ogene said that transfer of land from one generation to another had been the tradition of Igbo people.
He condemned the increase level of land speculation and encroachment which had put many communities under serious threat.
He advocated for establishment of land management committee in communities, villages and kindred, headed by traditional rulers, village and kindred’s heads to protect people’s land from being sold.
Okeke-Ogene also appealed to appropriate government agency to ensure strict enforcement of land laws to stop the excesses of land speculators and provide lasting peace among warring communities.
”There is need for enforcement of boundary closure. Security agencies should be alive to their responsibilities.
”State governments must prosecute people who violate the inter-State boundary closure to serve as deterrent to others,” the Igbo leader said.
Okeke-Ogene called for synergy between government and the people in curbing coronavirus as well as increase sensitisitation of the people in promoting safety protocols.
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)
UN condemns killing of 3 aid workers in South Sudan’s Inter-communal violence
The UN humanitarian agency on Wednesday condemned the killing of three aid workers in Jonglei of northeastern South Sudan amid renewed inter-communal violence over the weekend.
Alain Noudehou, humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan called for an end to recurring acts of violence that are disrupting life-saving assistance and COVID-19 response in many parts of the country.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of three aid workers in Pieri and call for those responsible to be brought swiftly to justice,” Noudehou said in a statement issued in Juba.
The statement comes after one staff member from the global medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and two staff members of another humanitarian organization were killed after intense fighting erupted in and around Pieri town, Jonglei on May 16.
Steve MacKay, MSF deputy head of Mission in South Sudan condemned the outrageous acts of inter-communal violence that has left dozens of people seriously wounded and many are feared dead.
“We express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of our staff and all those affected,” according to a statement issued in Juba on Tuesday.
South Sudan was ranked the most dangerous place to deliver aid, according to the Worker Security Report for 2018. Over 100 humanitarian workers have been killed in South Sudan since the country descended into violence in 2013.
The UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said Wednesday it has launched a probe into the deadly renewed inter-communal clashes.
Hundreds of people were reportedly killed and wounded, many more were forced to flee the area, and several aid workers are still unaccounted for during the sudden outbreak of violence between armed Murle youth and Lou Nuer fighters over the weekend.
UNMISS head David Shearer said while politically motivated conflict has reduced in South Sudan, inter-communal fighting has increased.
The peacekeeping mission attributed the recent violence to the failure by South Sudan’s leaders to agree on the appointment of governors and establish political leadership at the local government level.
Inter-communal violence has broken out several times in the past months in Jonglei, an area that has experienced years of food insecurity and was severely affected by flooding last year.
The UN says inter-communal clashes and armed conflict are hampering humanitarian efforts to pre-position food, medicine and other aid supplies in the final weeks before the rains become heavier and cut off road access to vulnerable communities.
Anambra govt. inaugurates panel for Omor/Umunbo communal crisis
The Anambra Government has inaugurated a 10-man panel of inquiry to look into the recent Omor and Umunbo communal crisis in Ayamelum Local Government of the state.
The inauguration took place at the Office of the Deputy Governor at Government House, Awka on Tuesday.
Gov. Willie Obiano represented by his Deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke charged the panel to identify the immediate and remote causes of the problems and find ways of ending the conflict to prevent further crisis.
The panel has Prof. Solomon Ekwenze as its Chairman and Dr Emma Ude Akpeh as Secretary.
Prof. Ekwenze is from the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu University, Igbariam, while Dr Ude Akpe is Permanent Secretary in the office of the Secretary to State Government.
Other members are Speaker Anambra House of Assembly, Mr Uche Okafor, Chairman Ayamelum Traditional Rulers and Igwe Benjamin Okeji (Igwe Omasi).
The panel also has Mr Vincent Ofumelu, Chief Paul Odenigbo, Rev. Fr. John Manafa, Chief Boni Emengini, Chief Tony Iwoba and Mr Chinedu Anigbaoso, serving as the Chief Security Officer of the committee.
The committee is also to ascertain the involvement of the major actors in the dispute.
The panel would further ascertain the roles played by the traditional rulers and stakeholders of both communities in the crisis.
The committee would also note the roles played by security agencies during and after the crisis, as well as note all damages incurred by both communities.
It would, then, advise the State Government on ways to ensure that communities in Ayamelum learn from the recent crisis as well as advise government about finding common factors suitable in such crisis.
The panel would be required to submit its report within a month, subject to 10 sittings from the date of inauguration.
In his response, Chairman of the committee, Prof. Ekwenze, re-assured the government of positive report that would obviously put a stop to the ongoing crisis in the two communities.
According to him, the randomly selected members of the committee are people from affected areas and experienced in matters of conflict resolution.
Addressing newsmen, the Speaker, Mr Okafor described the situation as unfortunate because State Government had made efforts to ensure that Anambra remained the safest in the country.
“The people of Ayamelum are predominantly farmers and issues of this kind usually come up during farming season.’’
He called on indigenes of these communities to sheath their swords, urging them to be their brother’s keepers for the greater good of Ayamelum LGA.
The speaker thanked Government timely response to the crisis and promised that the committee would swing into action in providing lasting solution to the crises, as well as in other communities in Ayamelum and environs.
NAN reports that there was communal clash between the two communities on May 5 over land disputes that led to loss of lives and property.
Edited By: Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)
Communal clash:Police arrest 30 suspects in Adamawa
The Police Command in Adamawa has confirmed the arrest of 30 suspects and recovery of dangerous weapons in connection with recent Tigno and Wadugu communal crises in Lamurde local government area.
Sulaiman Nguroje, Public Relations Officer of the command confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Yola.
“All those arrested will be diligently investigated and prosecuted according to the law,” Nguroje said.
He said the state Command, in collaboration with sister security agencies, would commence full enforcement of the curfew imposed by government in the affected villages.
Nguroje said the state Commissioner of Police, Olugbenga Adeyanju, had appealed to the people in the affected local government areas to adhere to the directives of government bordering on the curfew.
He said a taskforce that comprised of the police and other security operatives had been deployed to the areas to augment the efforts of the Area Commander at Numan and Divisional Police Officer at Lamurde.
Nguroje said while the command urged members of the public to adhere strictly to the curfew, it warned deployed officers and men to display high level of professionalism and operate within the confines of the law and human rights.
Edited By: Razak Owolabi (NAN)
China donates masks to bi-communal technical committees in Cyprus
Chinese Embassy in Cyprus on Tuesday donated 1,200 face masks to the bi-communal committees in Cyprus, which is made up of Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
The contribution was “a special donation to the bi-communal technical committees for their better protection at work in facilitating the political process of the Cyprus problem as restrictions gradually lift,” Chinese Ambassador Huang Xingyuan told Xinhua.
The donation was also announced by the United Nations mission in Cyprus, which said that the donation was handed by Ambassador Huang to the Coordinator of the Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General (OSASG) on Cyprus, Sergiy Illarionov.
“The masks were donated by the Chinese Embassy in Nicosia to be used as protective equipment by the bi-communal technical committees. Mr. Illarionov thanked the Embassy for its generous support on behalf of the bi-communal technical committees,” said a message posted on the UN Cyprus social media.
Edo CP wades into Ehor communal crisis, vows to unravel root cause
Mr Lawan Jimeta, the Commissioner of Police in Edo, has waded into the violent crisis that hit Ehor community in Uhumwode Local Government at the weekend, vowing to dig into the roots of the incident.
Jimeta, who visited the scene of the violence on Sunday, decried the level of destruction to lives and property, and promised to fish out those responsible.
He wondered why members of a community that had lived together for years during which they intermarried and carried out business activities together would suddenly take arms against each other.
“Preliminary reports available to me showed that there was a quarrel between two persons in the community leading to the death of one of the parties.
“Some youths were said to have been angered by the incident and went on rampage which led to massive destruction. We shall investigate further.”
The commissioner of Police, who also visited the palace of the Enogie of Ehor, Dr David Igiehon, assured the monarch that the Police would intensify efforts toward protecting lives and property in the community.
He said that the tactical team of the command would be deployed to investigate the crisis, while giving assurance that a robust strategy had been put in place to monitor the highway and apprehend criminals.
The monarch had earlier commended the Police official on his quick response by coming on a fact-finding mission.
He called on the Police to investigate the cause of the crisis, pointing out that members of the affected community had lived peacefully “for more than 50 years”.
He, however, alleged that some bad elements recently invaded the community and perpetrated crimes like kidnapping, rape of women on their farms and destruction of crops.
He called on the Hausa community in Ehor to purge their settlements of bad elements so as to promote mutual trust and peaceful co-existence.
Also speaking, Alhaji Badamasi Saleh, Chairman of the Hausa community, said that the crisis would have escalated if his colleagues had retaliated what was done to them.
Similarly, Alhaji Salihu Ibrahim, the Chief Imam of Ehor, sued for peace while lamenting the burning down of the Ehor Mosque by the irate youths.
Edited By: Shittu Obassa and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)
STF commander warns Plateau residents against communal clashes
Maj. Gen. Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, the Commander of the Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), operating in Plateau, part of Kaduna and Bauchi States, has warned Plateau residents against communal clashes.
Okonkwo gave the warning on Friday during an operational visit to Kpashio and Rogochongo communities of Irigwe Chiefdom of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau.
The Commander, who frowned at incessant attacks being carried out by unidentified gunmen within the Irigwe land, also cautioned criminals to stay off the state.
Okonkwo assured people of the communities of his readiness to prevent further attacks in areas under the purview of the task force through coordinated operations and constant patrols.
Speaking in Kpashio village, Mr Leo Dillon, a community leader, said that the presence of troops of the task force had boosted their confidence.
Dillion said that it would enable them go about their daily activities unperturbed.
He maintained that the village would improve on its community policing and work in cooperation with the security agencies in order to reduce the rate of criminal activities in the area.
Similarly, Mr Aba Zara said during the visit to Rogochongo village that the community would remain accommodative to indigenes and settlers as a way of managing their differences.
Zara described residents of the village as a peace-loving people whose continuous efforts toward peace building had been sustained over the years.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Okonkwo assumed office as Commander of thr task force on April 7.
He has since been going on operational visits to improve on the security situation in areas covered by the operation.
Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
Taraba police confirm 25 deaths in Lau communal conflict
Taraba Police Command has confirmed that 25 persons were killed and several others injured in a bloody clash between Shomo and Jole ethnic groups in Lau Local Government Area of Taraba.
Speaking in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Jalingo on Tuesday, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP David Misal, said that about 100 houses were burnt down during the clash which took place in the area on Monday.
Although the police spokesperson could not immediately ascertain the cause of the conflict, reliable sources from the area said that disagreement over the ownership of some ancestral fish ponds was the cause of the problem between the two fishing communities.
The police also confirmed that the conflict had since become an annual occurrence between the Shomo and Jole fishing communities.
“The Commissioner of Police, Mr Ahmed Azare, has stationed patrol teams on ground already and the situation has been brought under control,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that conflicts between Shomo and Jole had been lingering for decades over claims and counter claims of ownership of the disputed fish ponds.
At a point, the government had to ban fishing activities in the disputed ponds for a period of 10 years but the communities resumed conflicts as soon as the ban was lifted at the return of democracy in 1999.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
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