Over twenty war victims from Enyigba Autonomous Community in Abakaliki Council Area and Enyibuchiri Community, Ikwo Local Government Area, both in Ebonyi State were on Thursday 19 December 2019, given a mass burial by the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and Ebonyi State government.
The burial Service were simultaneously celebrated at the two local government council headquarters of Nkaliki, for Abakaliki and Onuebonyi Echara, for Ikwo Council Areas, as organized by Ebonyi State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria through the support of the State Government, to pay last honor to the war victims and assured the bereaved families of their support.
Recall that Enyibuchiri Community in Ikwo LGA and Enyigba Community, Abakaliki Local Government were recently engaged in a boundary dispute that claimed many lives and wanton destruction of property.
This is as Ebonyi State government led by Engr. David Umahi was said to have paid 5million naira bill at Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, AE-FETHA, for the victims’ corpses that were deposited in mortuary since the inception of the crisis.
Addressing bereaved families, the CAN State Chairman, Rev. Fr. Dr. Abraham Chukwuma Nwali, commended the two communities for their cooperation, stressing that the State government has paid the sum of five million naira mortuary total bill of all the war victims who were deposited in the mortuary as the crisis lasted.
The State CAN Chairman represented by Rev. Joseph Nwibo, State Assistant Secretary of CAN, consoled the bereaved families and urged them to maintain the peace effort.
Speaking, the Executive Chairman, Abakaliki Local Government Area, Hon. Emmanuel Nwangele, thanked the affected families for embracing peace and the State government for its support to reunite the two sister council areas.
Hon. Nwangele appreciated the traditional rulers and youths of both communities for their sacrifices to ensure that the warring communities cohabited again.
He pointed out the role played by State Christian body, and the youths whom he said their intervention helped to install peace and prayed for God’s reward upon them.
He, however, urged the bereaved families to shun and ignore every form of rumour which he said some enemies of the two communities have seen as a tool to destabilize the already achieved peace.
He described the day as a remarkable one, stressing that the state government would compensate the affected families.
“Today is a remarkable day to our two sister communities, the day we mourn our brothers and sisters who lost their lives. I thank Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, for wading into this crisis which their role is remarkable and the State government, our Governor, Engr. David Umahi for being with us throughout the challenging period till date.
In separate interviews, the Bishop, Methodist Church Abakaliki Diocese, Bishop Onyeuwaoma Godswill Umoke, and Rt. Rev. Lawson Elom, Methodist Bishop, Chairman Christian Council of Nigeria, Ebonyi State, noted that the interdenominational Church Service was to mark the final burial of victims of the two communities’ communal conflict as a way to re-establish peace, stability and for their peaceful coexistence.
The Methodist bishops consoled the bereaved families and charged them to live in hope of resurrection after earthly sojourn.
On his part, the traditional ruler Enyigba Autonomous Community, His Royal Highness, Eze Michael Mbam Nwobashi, appreciated the state government and Christian Association of Nigeria, Ebonyi State Chapter for their intervention and unification of the two council areas.
Also, the Chairman, Ndiegu Enyigba Development Union, Mr. Fred Mbam, commended the state government and the Christian body led by Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali and assured them that such incident would never repeat itself between the two sister clans.
In an interview, the President Izzi/Ikwo peace movement and his vice, Barr. Pascal Nwenyi and Hon. Duclan Ovuna, described the action taken by the state government as unique and wonderful one, calling the two clans to imbibe the peace initiative.
The leadership of the joint peace movement called on the stakeholders of both divides to encourage youths to engage in meaningful skill by supporting them in any little way they could and prayed God to console the bereaved families.
Some of affected families who spoke to us including Mrs. Regina Idoko, a native of Ogada, who thanked the state government and the Christian body for wading into the matter and prayed for all the departed souls to rest in perfect peace.
In a similar vein, widows across the 13 LGA received wrappers and other gift items from Christian Association of Nigeria, Ebonyi State Chapter led by Rev.Fr. Abraham Nwali at Women Development Center (WDC) Abakaliki.
Speaking with some of the widows including Mrs. Nwaja Nkechi and Mrs. Nwachukwu Theresa, they thanked the Christian body and state government for giving them succour