Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The House of Representatives Member-elect for Ohaozara, Ivo and Onicha Federal Constituency, Nkemkamma Kama has waded into the security crisis in Ishiagu community, Ivo Local Government Area.
Mr Kama, who won the House of Representatives election conducted on February 25 called on the people of the community to remain calm and law abiding.
He was reacting to the protest by women of the community which later turned violent at the weekend.
The peaceful protest over the insecurity in the community later turned violent leading to destruction of properties of the the Monarch of the community, Chairman of the Council and other notable personalities in the community.
Mr Kama, in a statement on Tuesday said he was deeply saddened by the unfortunate violent incidents and destruction that have occurred in the Community, over the past few days.
He said: “It is even more unfortunate that what was intended to be a peaceful march by our beloved mothers and sisters to protest the incessant kidnapping, abduction, robbery and other violent attacks by some unknown persons along the Ishiagu-Awgu Road in Ivo LGA, Ebonyi, has turned violent with heavy destruction of properties of some indigenous personalities in the Community.
While describing the destruction as very heartbreaking and condemnable, the Lawmaker-elect said it is ironical that the people will turn their anger against fellow victims.
He advised the people against the negative profiling any particular ethnic group over the incident.
“Though many accounts have surfaced as to why certain persons have been singled out for attack, we should never fall for violence or take laws into our hands.
“There are also allegations that the continuous attacks at the said road were carried out by Herdsmen. While I do not hold brief for anyone or group, it is my humble opinion that we may not need to draw hasty conclusions or categorically profile another ethnic group. We must be reflective and look inwards as well,” he said.
Mr Kama said he has reached out to security agents and other stakeholders including the Leadership of Miyetti Allah with a view to finding a lasting solution to the security challenges.
“Even though I have not yet been inaugurated, I have reached out to the various stakeholders including the leadership of Miyetti Allah, some Northern personalities for their urgent intervention assuming it is true some herdsmen are involved, traditional rulers and neighbouring communities as well as security agencies.
“Also, discussions with the military and other appropriate authorities are currently ongoing for the establishment of a military outpost in our community.
“I believe this will provide a more permanent solution to the security challenges we face and ensure the safety of our residents. Besides, our local vigilantes must rise to the occasion. Any of our own people who may have hand in the attacks should also desist from the evil”
“As your newly elected representative, I share in your concerns and losses. I will do everything within my power to ensure that you (we) are safe”
“I am aware that the situation has caused a lot of anxiety and frustration among us. But I implore you to remain calm and peaceful.
“Violence only begets more violence and can disrupt the stability and progress we have worked so hard to achieve. Instead, let us come together as a community and work towards finding solutions that will ensure our safety and security,” he said.
Mr Kama appealed to the people to end the ongoing protests as the destruction of property and injury to anyone of us will only worsen the situation.
“We cannot destroy what our own have toiled to build. It is not in our character. We are a protective people. We are people who love to see progress. Let us resist the temptation to anarchy. Let us Say no to Violence.”
He also appealed to all those whose properties were destroyed to exercise restraint as reprisals can only lead to further deterioration and degeneration of the situation.
“It is important that we work together towards finding a lasting solution to the security challenges in our community.
“As your elected representative, I am committed to working with all stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the security challenges we face. I promise to keep you informed and updated on the progress we make.
“Meanwhile, I urge all and sundry to be patient and conduct themselves in peaceful ways. Those with useful information as to the people behind the attacks should avail security agencies with same,” he said.