Some NEMA officials sorting relief materials for distribution at Ohatekwe, Amagu community in Ikwo LGA
The Federal Government (FG) on Friday distributed emergency relief materials to crises affected communities of Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi.
The relief materials were approved by President Muhammadu Buhari through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
The ceremony was performed by AVM Mohammadu Mohammed (Rtd), Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), at Amagu community in Ikwo LGA.
Mohammed represented by Mr Fred Anoziem, Zonal Coordinator of NEMA said that the materials which comprised foods and non foods essential materials were aimed at providing succour to the victims of various intra and inter community was in Ikwo.
He said that the benefitting communities include; Ochuenyum, Ofenekpe, Agubia communities and parts of Alike community.
The DG said that the agency was aware of the various communal clashes risen through boundary disputes, internal political manauverings, traditional titles tuzzle among others.
Some relief materials for distribution
He said that the boundary clashes involved communities in Ikwo and those involving Ikwo and their neighbours in Cross River state.
Mohammed noted that disasters were unexpected events that usually overwhelm the coping capacity of the people in the areas where they took place.
He said that some disasters especially communal conflicts could be prevented or avoided adding that disasters such as communal disasters did not emanate from nothing, they were usually due to the human actions.
He said: “The agency is aware of the border/land boundary dispute that erupted between Ikwo and Cross River communities in in April 2013; also, in June 2016 another report of crisis from the area reached us while the third was reported in January this year.
“Communities involved have been completely displaced and their farmlands declared buffer zones.
“It is therefore a sad note to lose lives, property and those affected pass through the trauma of displacement over crises which has recently assumed greater dimension.”
The DG argued that most of the communal crises were avoidable but regretted that youths of these days no longer have regard or fear for human lives or respect for tradition and constituted authorities.
“Ebonyi has been known hitherto known for peace, unity and love for communal development is gradually turning into a theatre of hostilities.
“The number of crises recorded in the state and by extension Ikwo LGA in the past few years evidence is that; cordial age – long relationship has turned sour, government has lost man-hour, man-power and resources meant for development,” he added.
Some displaced victims of communal clashes from different communities in Ikwo LGA
He called for a rethink, self appraisal and attitudinal reorientation to curtail and contain spate of communal conflicts in the various communities adding that lives lost to conflicts would never be regained.
He commended Mr Chinedu Ogah, lawmaker representing Ikwo /Ezza South Federal Constituency for attracting the relief materials.
Meanwhile, Ogah, in a speech commended Buhari for approving the fund for the materials and assured that the materials would be adquately distributed to the benefitting communities.
He expressed commitment to effective representation of the people of his constituency and Ebonyi in general.
The lawmaker said that he was liaising with his colleagues from Cross River state in the House of Representatives to find a lasting solution to the intractable inter state boundary disputes.
He said that efforts were on to bring relief assistance to victims of land /border disputes in Izzi LGA.
“Though the relief materials are meant for three communities, we are going to extend the materials to other victims in Igbudu and Ekpomaka communities as well as other victims of conflicts because more are coming,” he said.
Mr Ken Ozioma Eze, Executive Secretary of Ebonyi Emergency Management Agency who represented Gov Dave Umahi commended the lawmaker for effective representation of his constituents.
Our correspondent reports that materials distributed include; 503 bags 5 kilogrammes parboild rice, 503 kilogrammes bags of garri, 403 bags of beans, 61 bags of iodised salt, 125 bags of granulated sugar, 147 cartons of seaoning among others.
Non food materials include; 1500 pieces of blankets, 1500 pieces of mosquitoe nets, 1000 pieces of form matrasses, 1200 pieces of ceiling boards, 1400 bags of cement among others.