Prof. Francis Idike, the Chairman of the Igbeagu-Izzi Peace Committee in Ebonyi, has decried the recent killing of two Ndunwampfu natives in Igbeagu Autonomous Community of the state during an alleged invasion of the area.
The committee was set up by the state government to find a lasting solution to the persistent inter-communal conflicts between Igbeagu in Izzi Local Government Area (LGA) and their neighbouring Ukelle community in Yala LGA of Cross River.
Addressing newsmen at Izzi on the progress so far made by the committee, Idike expressed displeasure over the killings, coming after a two-month ceasefire by the two communities.
He said that the Igbeagu community wanted the state government to find a lasting solution to the problem.
He said that while the remains of one of the victims, David Nkwede, were recovered and deposited at a mortuary in the area, those of Dennis Nwaogayi, had yet to be found.
He also said that late Nwede’s wife and two of his children, who were abducted during the clash, had been released.
He blamed the last incident on a reprisal attack which, he said, posed a major challenge to the committee.
He said that the major objective of the committee was to put a stop to the incessant killings and confrontation between the two communities.
Idike said: “As part of our aims, we have established cordial relationship with the Ukelle people, which was accepted by them.
“For two months now, there has not been any unwanted incident which shows that our efforts towards making peace are working.
“Also in the process, we have maintained a good rapport with the military and I think we are succeeding, except for the recent attack.”
He appealed for mutual understanding and agreement between the two parties in order to permanently put a stop to the wanton killings and destruction of people’s property.
“We request that we have a meeting of delegates from both parties to initiate discussion on ways to achieve the desired peace.
“Our mutual desire is to seek ways to irrevocably resolve our persisting conflicts,” Idike said.
Mr John Nwenyi, a member of the committee, promised that the committee would continue to explore ways to restore normalcy in the affected communities.
“Boundary demarcation is our demand, we want it to be done so that peace will return, while we continue to preach peace,” Nwenyi said.