Reps, CAN back Umahi's ultimatum to free abducted children in Ebonyi



The member representing Abakalki/Izzi Federal Constituency, Chief Sylvester Ogbaga has called on the two brotherly communities, Enyigba in Abakalki LGA and Enyibuchiri in Ikwo Council Area to sheathe their sword and embrace peace as government authourities and other relevant bodies have again embarked on the movement to return permanent peace to their areas

Member representing Abakalki/Izzi Federal Constituency, Chief Sylvester Ogbaga.

Ogbaga in interview with journalists at Bishop Thomas Macgettrick Pastoral Centre Abakalki made this call after the peace meeting held by Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, with invited key stakeholders from both sides in crises.

He said that the strong nature of the blood relationship between the people of Ikwo Noyo and Izzi Nnodo Ekumaenyi clans can never be separated by any evil mechanisation resulting to abductions, killings and other dangerous reports emanating from the renewed crisis.

The Federal Lawmaker attributed the renewed crisis between the two clans to the handiwork of miscreants who are hell-bent on destroying the existing brotherhood and peace between the people of Ikwo Noyo and Izhi Nnodo Ekumaenyi in Ebonyi State and beyond.

"As brothers, we have no reason to fight, along the line is miscreants that abducted the children that caused the striking issues and from what is happening within the town, they wanted to take over the opportunity to mar the names of Izhi and Ikwo people. 

"I join the CAN to call on everyone to continue with their businesses as the state government is working towards ensuring peace in our dear state,  and I am sure it must be actualized," Ogbaga said.

Earlier, the members of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state, condemned in totality the abduction of the Izhi children of Enyibuchiri community in Abakalki LGA by suspected warlords of Enyibuchiri community from Ikwo Council Area of the state.

Members of CAN in their communique read by the State Chairman, Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali, after their meeting with the stakeholders of the two clans, appealed to the people of Enyibuchiri Ikwo community to to release the abducted children in order to maintain the existing peace between the two brotherly clans.

Fr. Nwali said that the position of 'CAN in the state is inline with Governor Umahi's earlier statement,' which directed the abductors to quickly release the little children to their families.

NATIONAL PANEL reported that the State Govenor, Chief David Umahi condemned the act and ordered for the unconditional release of the children within seven days or there would be massive arrests in the area.

He urged the people responsible for the abduction to return the children to their families even before the seven days given by the governor elapses in order to avoid muscling power with the state government.

He said, "both Izhi and Ikwo representatives have confirmed that there is no war between them, unfortunately the conflict they had between Enyigba in Abakalki LGA and Enyibuchiri in Ikwo LGA that was resolved with executive order from His Excellency, Governor David Umahi and the boundary, rose it ugly head in the recent development.

"The recent development led to the burning of some houses at both sides

but to a special note and heart breaking is the abduction of children from Izhi, which CAN says it's highly condemnable.

"CAN therefore, joining her words with the press release of His Excellency where he gave Enyibuchiri Ikwo people, seven days to make sure that these children are returned.

"It's on that note that CAN is also making a special appeal to Enyibuchiri Ikwo people, that long before the expiration of seven days to let CAN know the whereabout of these children, verifiably alive or dead, that we may intervene in giving the state government the report."

Nwali also said that the representatives of Ikwo clan during the meeting, accused their brothers living in Azuofia-Enyiburuchiri Ikwo who have been claiming to be Ikwo-Cross River people of being the alleged masterminds of the abduction of the little children.

He however, urged the well meaning Ikwo people to apprehend anyone responsible for the ugly acts in their midst to face the full wrath of the law.

The Catholic Priest equally advised both Izhi and Ikwo clans to embrace peace as he appealed to Ebonyians to go about their normal businesses, saying that the law would not leave anyone bringing crisis into the state unpunished.

NATIONAL PANEL learnt that 46 out of the invited 70 stakeholders from the two brotherly clans, Izhi Nnodo and Ikwo Noyo Ekumaenyi honoured the meeting including present and past government functionaries, religious leaders with
 Bishop Michael N. Okoro of Abakalki Diocese, traditional rulers, town union leaders, amongst others.

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