Stakeholders from Effium community of Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi have re-affirmed their commitment towards ensuring lasting peace in the intra-communal conflict which recently engulfed the area.
The conflict which ensued between the Effium and Ezza-Effium indigenes of the area has caused several deaths and destruction of properties worth millions of naira.
The state government had taken several measures to stem the tide which included arrest and detention of stakeholders from the area, convening of several peace meetings but flashes of disturbances still persist.
Dr Kelechi Igwe, state Deputy Governor during the re-affirmation on Monday in Abakaliki, commended the stakeholders for such bold step and urged them to maintain peace in the area.
“This re-affirmation would strengthen the already signed peace pact and further signify a milestone in the efforts towards lasting peace in the area.
“I commend the security agencies, clergy among other stakeholders for their dogged efforts in checking the escalation of the conflict,” he said.
The deputy governor said that the government has procured several relief materials for thousands of persons displaced as a result of the conflict.
“The commissioner for humanitarian affairs has commenced the distribution of such materials to camps where the displaced persons are taking refuge,” he said.
He, however, declared that security agencies would still be stationed in the area to check the activities of miscreants and ensure that the conflict is permanently checked.
“The government warns undesirable elements to stop making inflammatory statements and other acts that might jeopardise the peace efforts,” he said.
Mr Clement Odah, Chairman of the council who spoke on behalf of the Effium indigenes apologised to the government and people of the state over the conflict.
“We are giving unwavering assurance of dialoguing with our people to ensure that reprisal attacks are not carried-out henceforth,” he said.
Mr Chinedu Awoh, the lawmaker representing the area in the state House of Assembly, said that the Ezza-Effium indigenes would fully embrace the peace accord and cease further hostilities.
“I feel ashamed that the conflict erupted during my tenure as the lawmaker representing the area and we would do our best to cushion its effects on the people,” he said.