Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, has assured that the federal government would mobilise the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Ministry of Humanitarian Service and Disaster Management to provide relief materials to the victims of bandits’ attack in Egedegede, Obegu and Amuzu communities in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Osibanjo, who spoke during a stakeholders meeting after he visited the communities, noted that the federal government was deeply worried over the unfortunate attack.
He was accompanied by the Minister for Information, Mr. Lai Mohammed and the Minister for State Mines and Steel, Mr. Uche Ogah.
He also noted that he visited the state on the direction of President Muhammad Buhari and added that the federal government has beefed up security especially in the affected communities and is seeking justice for those who were killed and for those who have lost their properties,.
Osibanjo also visited the Ezza-Effium community where several lives were lost in a communal clash in the state.
He said: “This massacre is very sad indeed and very unfortunate. I am here at the direction of Mr. President. At times when things like this happen, when people are killed, when incidents like this happen and you feel particularly outraged.
“The reason is that those who have been mercilessly massacred are people like you and I who have hopes and aspiration; young ones, females and children who are people who woke up in the morning and are expected to go about their normal business, they are expected to go out and fend for themselves but they ended up dead not because of anything they have done wrong but because of cowardly wicked act by some of some other people who live in the same community with them.
“I sympathise with not just the governor and the people of Ebonyi State but in particular people of the communities that have been affected. I think that what we have seen here is very cowardly and wicked and all of us condemn it and we say that it must not be allowed to happen again.”
The Ebonyi State Governor, Mr. David Umahi, warned that there would be serious consequences if another attack happens anywhere in this state because nobody would be able to restrain the youths and people of the state.
Umahi appealed to the federal government to pay N2 billion as compensation to the victims of the Ishielu massacre and N3 billion for Ezza-Effium’s victims.
He said: “Let me as the chief security officer in this state say that there will be serious consequences if another attack happens here in Ebonyi State because nobody will be able to hold the youths, nobody will be able to hold the people. It is very important that we do everything very important to forestall any other attack not only in Ebonyi but in the entire South-east”.
“I want to thank you and thank Mr. President for this prompt action you have taken to visit this peace loving community. We are touched and we are encouraged by this visit.
“If the government fails to do something sir, it will be on record that the people did their best by providing these very vital information. The killers are not hidden. They are there, Sir, with their pictures, the call logs. I am told that there was a particular person they were calling. They called him Bishop Frank Shakespeare, and they called him before the attack, called him after the attack. Your Excellency, I am told there are over 50 contacts there, over 50 call logs there.”
“Your excellency, we have made all effort to make peace between the farmers and herders in this state and by extension in the South-east. They have a platform that involves even the herdsmen in our local governance. There is no name the governors of the South-east are not being called. They call us cowards and all kinds of manes because we know there is a need for peace in this country. We know that one crisis in any part of this country can degenerate to a very serious civil war. We don’t want another civil war in this country but it is in the hands of everybody.”