Hon Linus Abaa Okorie, a member representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo Federal constituency in Ebonyi State, has called on the people of Alike Ikwo in Ikwo Local Government Area and their counterparts in Enyibichiri in Abakaliki Local Government of the state, to immediately embrace peace and stop further killings, violence and all forms of hostilities against themselves.
The two Ebonyi communities were, at the weekend, embroiled in a fratricidal communal crisis over a disputed parcel of land which led to the violent killing of no fewer than 12 persons on Saturday.
The incident has caused panic and traffic confusion along the Alex Ekwueme Federal University-Ikwo road, where people returning from Ebonyi State University(EBSU) matriculation on Saturday were allegedly ambushed and massacred.
Okorie in a statement in Abakaliki, on Tuesday, said killing of one another over a parcel of land is unfortunate and should be condemned and discouraged by all Ebonyians irrespective of place of origin.
He maintained that Ebonyians are peace-loving and don’t engage in the senseless killing of one another.
The lawmaker, however, expressed dismay that some unscrupulous individuals were bent on causing so much confusion and bad blood amongst otherwise peaceful communities in the state just to dent the peace efforts of the state government.
Accordingly, he called on the stakeholders and the traditional institutions in Ikwo and Abakaliki Local Government Areas, as well as some other flashpoints in the state, to immediately sit together and find amicable resolutions to whatever misunderstanding might be afoot in their areas.
The lawmaker noted that the incoming second tenure of governor David Umahi would witness holistic development and empowerment across communities in the state, which he said would not be possible without peace.
He said the state needed peace and stability now more than any other time in its history in order to take advantage of the developmental initiatives and commitment of the state governor.
Okorie, however, urged the governor not to be discouraged by the pockets of crises here and there in the state, but to continue in his avowed commitment towards enthronement of peace and political stability in the state.
“Governor Umahi must not be discouraged by these murderous acts intended to upset his enviable peace records and developmental initiatives in the State. He should continue his famous peaceable engagement with all interest groups, deploy security agencies to all areas of conflict and act swiftly and weightily in sanctioning any persons or groups found to be fanning the embers of discord and disunity in the affected areas. Ebonyians are one in unity behind him to ensure the return of peace in all parts of the state,” he said.