The Federal Government has pledged justice and compensation for victims of communal and herdsmen clashes in Ebonyi State.
Describing the attacks as “cowardly, wicked and very deeply distressing”, during a visit to the capital, Abakaliki, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had stopped over at the Egedegede community in Ishielu Council that witnessed herdsmen attacks and Ezza/Effium communities in Ohaukwu Council where communal clashes occurred for on-the-spot assessment.
The nation’s second citizen who was in the state on Sunday, according to a statement yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, led a team, including Governor David Umahi, his predecessor, Chief Martin Elechi, Deputy Governor Kelechi Igwe, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah and Special Adviser on Political Affairs to the President, Senator Babafemi Ojudu to the scenes.
He had earlier been received by Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport where he drove to Ebonyi.x
Osinbajo said: “There is no way we can, by saying sorry, fully compensate for the lives that have been lost and property destroyed. I want you to know that one way we can do something is by seeking justice and providing for the families of those who have lost their homes and we would do so.”He urged the communities to remain calm and shun reprisals.
The Vice President continued: “Let me assure you that we will seek justice on behalf of those who have died not just because they are Nigerians, but because they are human beings and they deserve justice.
“Anybody, who watches another person killed next to him and does not feel angry and pained, must answer to God ultimately. So, don’t be under any illusion. We will make sure, so long as it lies within our power, to seek justice and get justice.”
Assuring the people of improved security, Osinbajo added that government would strengthen the communities to forestall a repeat.
In his remarks, Governor Umahi noted that justice and fairness were the minimal demands of the people, urging the visitor to support the rebuilding of the settlements and provision of immediate relief materials to the displaced persons.x
BESIDES, the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), yesterday, condemned the onslaughts by the nomads in Enugu and Ebonyi, challenging the two governors to flush out the perpetrators.
The group described the act as barbaric and wicked in a statement by its President General and Secretary General, Goodluck Egwu Ibem and Kanice Igwe.
The release read in part: “The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), the apex socio-political youth organisation in the South East geopolitical zone, condemns in strongest terms the gruesome killings of innocent citizens in Ebonyi and Enugu states by Fulani herdsmen in broad daylight. This act by Fulani militia is wicked, barbaric and have no place in the 21st Century.
“We call on Governors Dave Umahi and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who are the chief security officers of the affected states, to immediately move into action and arrest perpetrators of the dastardly act.”x