An urban professional youth community-based group called Project 1000, on Thursday, called on the Federal Government to take drastic action in ending the protracted Ukelle-Izzi communal clash without further delay.
This was contained in a statement signed by the communications director, Project 1000, Ebriku John, who said the bloodbath must end, and it lies in the hand of the federal government, which the escalation has gone beyond the control of state and local governments despite their interventions.
The statement reads in part, “We the members of Project 1000 condemn in its entirety, the ongoing war/communal clash between the Izzi community of Ebonyi State and the Ipollo community of Cross River State that has claimed many lives including those of innocent travelers.
“We call on the Federal Government to erect a national monument, a school or barracks on this boundary just the way there’s a barracks demarcating Ogoja from Yala. While that is on, Traditional Rulers and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) of these two communities should be required to maintain the peace in their communities/jurisdiction or pay for any life lost to any violence.
“We also pray the top brass of our security agencies for speedy interventions going forward as they are the resort of the common man in security issues.”
The group went further to call on those sponsoring and fueling the crisis to stop their evil act, and also urged elders and youth of both sides to embrace dialogue to end the crisis.
“We call on both sides to drop their armaments and have a round table discussion as only a dialogue can proffer long lasting solution to this unreasonable war that has lasted for over 13 years.
“We believe that in battles, only survivors tell the tales and not who was right or wrong. We also believe that resources voted to prosecute wars and losses incurred during this period should rather be deployed into meaningful developmental projects of human capacity as well as infrastructure as both serves as solutions to conflicts.”
The group also called on the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to quickly mobilize relief items to the communities affected by the crisis as hunger, shelter and health, challenges are telling on the people who have fled the area to safer communities, who also are now finding it difficult to manage, “We indulge the indigenes of both communities and state to move in to lend a helping hand to consolidate the efforts of the government.”
According to the group plans are on the way to put together a peace and conflict resolution mechanism to bring about a long lasting solution to the crisis, and also urged well meaning personalities from the area to intervene also.
It also acknowledged and appreciated visits by both state governments of the warring communities, “And motions raised by our leaders in the Senate and the House of Representatives to dialogue with leaders of both communities to put an end to the carnage going on at this moment. Thank you for rising to the occasion and for caring for Nigerians.
“The Project 1000 with the Afrika Youth Movement, and Diplomacy Opp is putting together a peace and conflict resolution scheme to seek a long term peaceful sustenance in both communities and call on Nigerians to join in as deem fit.
“We humbly call on all well meaning sons and daughters of both sides to stay their hands and dialogue to ensure the peace, intermarriage and intercultural heritage shared by both communities are restored. Nobody should be on the sidelines in these matters. Real people are dying, people with their unique stories, with families, with aspirations, dreams and great futuristic plans.”