It was a joyful day for Igbeagu Internally Displaced Persons’ who on Wednesday 9 October, 2019 received relief materials worth millions of naira from Izzi Local Government Area Chairman, Hon. Paul Nwogha, at Ojiegbe Primary School Field.
Igbeagu Community in Ebonyi State, an area recently bedeviled by the crisis over a boundary dispute with Ukelle of Yala LGA, Cross River State which had affected not less than sixteen villages with a population of over one million who are now displaced from their various homes.
Speaking, the council Chairman, Hon. Paul Nwogha who lamented that the community being agrarian area has not been farming since the crisis started, and as such, felt their plight.
However, the Local Government Chairman who was represented by the Leader, Izzi Representative Council, Hon. Kizito Nwenyi donated some bags of food items, wears, detergents, food condiments and an undisclosed amount of money to the war victims and appealed to the people to embrace the peace initiative of the state Governor Engr. David Umahi as no community develops in an atmosphere of rancour and crisis.
According to Hon. Nwenyi, “I am here to present to you, our people, these relief materials to show our support to those who lost their homes and loved ones during the boundary crisis. The chairman has asked me to tell you that he share your plight and that if you keep following the directive of the Peace Committee set up by the state governor, headed by Prof. F.I Idike whom we have seen doing what government expected, we will keep working hard to make sure peace returns to the area.
“He thanked you, the vigilantes for ensuring that nobody breach the peace initiative of the state Governor, and therefore, accept these items because we are aware that the crisis had rendered many families handicapped but with your support to the Peace Committee, the state government would not rest until lasting peace is established through due processes,” he further disclosed.
The Peace Committee Chairman, Prof. F.I Idike, former Vice Chancellor of Ebonyi State University thanked the council Chairman for his continued support and other sister communities who had given help to the people as well as his Committee members for their unrelenting spirit to restore peace in the war zone.
He equally thanked the widows for honoring the call and assured them that their cooperation and support for governments of both states would soon bring a lasting solution to the age-long boundary crisis.
Corroborating the speech, the Special Assistant to Ebonyi State Governor on Special Projects, Hon. Richard Idike, applauded the local government Chairman for his outstanding performances and leadership ingenuity which made it possible for him to remember the war victims who many he had put food on their tables.
He further disclosed that with the state government’s effort in bringing back to school, the dropouts, that most displaced children would-be beneficiaries, and appealed for sincere distribution of the given items to the target victims.
On her part, the Secretary, Izzi LGA, Hon. Adeline Aduga, commended the Chairman for his quick intervention and eulogized the Deputy Governor, Speaker, Ebonyi State House of Assembly and the State Governor for their relentless effort in ensuring that peace is established in various parts of the state.
She assured the people that with their support to the Peace Committee, that the age-long crisis would soon be a thing of the past.
The Traditional Ruler, Igbeagu Autonomous Community, His Royal Highness, Eze Ogbonnaya Ukwa, appreciated the council Chairman and the state government for making sure peace return to the boundary area.
“Our chairman who is a true replica of Governor Umahi had shown to us that he shares our plight with all these relief materials and we pray for divine wisdom as they continue working hard to ensure the boundary is diplomatically demarcated. We as well, appreciate the effort of our Deputy Governor, Speaker, State House of Assembly and our sisters communities especially the Igbeagu Unupfu Women Association led by Chief Nkwuda Obeji, Nweru Ibeogu, Ndugo Alobo and Mrs. Ofoke Obeji who have shown us love.
Meanwhile, some of the widows whose husbands were killed during the crisis among whom was Mrs Nwakpu Ijeoma, appealed to the state governor to introduce skill acquisition empowerment for the community women as they have lost their source of livelihood which made life so difficult for them coupled with the absence of their husbands.
Others who spoke include, Engr. Jonas Ibaki, Secretary, Igbeagu Stakeholders’ Forum, who thanked the peace committee and the entire community stakeholders for continued support and called on the people to always follow the state government’s directive to ease attracting the National Boundary Commission to the boundary land.
Recall that Ebonyi State Government on April 12, 2019, set up a peace committee led by Prof. F. I Idike which had resulted to the ceasefire between Igbeagu Community and their rival Ukelle People.