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Boundary dispute: Ebonyi lawmakers condemn killing

Two lawmakers in the National Assembly from Ebonyi state, Lazarus Ogbe and Obinna Ogbe have condemned the killing of one Chibueze Azuegu in a renewed communal clash between the people of Ochienyim in Amagu Ikwo in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and the Adadama community in Cross River State.

Ogbee who represents Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency and his counterpart Senator Obinna Ogba representing Ebonyi Central zone on Tuesday condemned the alleged killing as senseless.

Azuegu was killed at the weekend following resumption of hostilities in the decades long boundary dispute.

The dispute which have spanned many decades has led to loss of many lives estimated to be over 100.

Also properties worth millions of naira have also been lost to the crisis.

The recent outbreak occurred when warlords alleged to be from Adadama invaded Ochenyim community.

They shot the victim Chubueze Azuegu and Stephen Nworie.

But Azuegu would later die at the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki(FETHA) where they were rushed for medical attention.

The National Assembly members expressed regret over the incessant killings in the last couple of months and  called on National Boundary Commission to address the age long land dispute between the 2 communities.

Hon Ogbee and Senator Ogba in a separate statements pointed out that the age long crisis has left many especially women and children homeless while properties worth millions have been destroyed.

They said the situation has brought about untold hardship to the people of Ochienyim who are currently seeking refuge in other neighboring communities in Ebonyi State.

The lawmakers expressed shock over the persistent attack on the people and called on the Assistant Inspector General of Police, zone 6 and the State Commissioner of Police, Peace Ibekwe Abdallah to deploy more men to the area to ensure a cease fire.

“Such attacks if not checked may result to further loss of lives”, they added.

They lamented that a buffer zone was created in the area to check incursions into the disputed land but years after its creation, no effective security measures had been adopted to respect the creation of the zone.

The legislators further urged security agents in the disputed land to be more proactive and vigilant to ensure that people do not make incursion into the land adding that security needs to be beefed up in the disputed area to restore peace in the area.

They called on the people of Ochienyim not to take laws into their hands but should remain calm as the relevant authorities are working round the clock to ensure a lasting solution to the lingering crisis.

The duo also assured the affected displaced persons of their commitment in ensuring that the economic hardship they are currently facing is alleviated and their children return to school.

They called on the National Boundary Commission to urgently demarcate the boundary to put a stop to the restiveness in the area.

They noted that the restiveness in the area has become a source of concern to the government and people of the area stating that effort must be put in place by security agents to ensure that the attacks and killings are put to an end.

The lawmakers condoned with the family of the deceased and urged them not to take laws into their hands as the relevant authorities are working round the clock to ckeckmate further incursion and attacks against the Ochienyim community.

They promised to soon visit the area and donate relief materials to the displaced persons and also urged the National Emergency management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to donate relief materials to the displaced people to alleviate their suffering. Ends

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