Izzi Council Chair Inaugurates Community Vigilante, Sets To Empower Victim Widows of Ukelle/Igbeagu Rift

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By Nwogha Ndubuisi, Abakaliki

The executive chairman, Izzi Local Government Area, Barr Stephen Emenike Nwankpa, has inaugurated Igbeagu autonomous Community vigilante group, tasking them to be law abiding as they deploy their service to the community.

He, however, banned jungle justice as according to him, leads to abuse of citizen’s right and contradicts the constitution of the land. 

Nwankpa made the order at Ndidoko during town hall and security meeting held at the palace of the traditional ruler Igbeagu autonomous community, His Royal Highness, Eze Ogbonna Michael Ukwa, on Wednesday 28th June, 2023.

Addressing the newly inaugurated community vigilante group, the Council chairman explained that the action becomes pertinent as to forestall nefarious activities among kidnapping, drug abuse and other related crimes in the community.

He charged the group to be law abiding as their position did not exempt them of being arrested once they violate the country’s constitution.

He also emphasized that the group would work in synergy with the security agencies, thereby, reporting suspected person to appropriate quarter while warning against taking law into their hands.

He frowned at the increase rate of miscreants in the society and noted that youths are the major victims due to neglect and unemployment, hence, announced the plan to empower youth of the community as to reduce restiveness.

The Council chairman ordered that ten(10) youths from every wards would be submitted to be engaged in entrepreneurship summit which on completion would be empowered for self reliance.

He, however, set five man committee headed by the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Hon Richard Idike to screen and compile list of victim widows of Igbeagu/Ukelle crisis for onward empowerment as to reduce rate of poverty in the area. 

Responding on issue bordering on village leaders, the Council chairman advised leadership of the community against the imposition of village heads and hinted that the council should be intimated before installation of any new village head so as to ensure absolute peace and tranquility in all parts of the area.

On his part, the honourable  Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Hon Richard Ugo Idike, noted that the presence of the Council chairman has portrayed good news and end to rifts in all parts of the community. 

“We are happy today that majority of communal issues have been addressed courtesy of the chairman’s visit. 

He applauded traditional ruler and stakeholders of the community for their contributions to bringing peace in the area and frowned upon attitude of some group of youths brewing division and blamed some group of stakeholders as instrument of the rift and appealed to the chairman to reschedule a meeting that the entire stakeholders would be invited as to settle the division among them.

Earlier, the traditional ruler of Igbeagu autonomous community, His Royal Highness, Eze Michael Ogbonna Ukwa, appreciated the Local Government chairman for his prompt response to security challenge bordering the area.

Eze Ukwa pledged to ensure that the newly inaugurated vigilante group are adequately supported by ensuring that any issues affecting smooth running of their job are adequately handled as to maintain healthy relationship with the conventional security agencies.

However, the Secretary Igbeagu Stakeholders, Engr Jonas Ibaki thanked the executive chairman for remembering the orphans and widows affected by the recent communal clash and prayed for quick demarcation of the boundary area as to put end to the daredevil rift.

Lending his voice, the town union president Igbeagu autonomous community, Chief Clement Eze applauded the executive chairman and state governor, Chief Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru for the quick appointment of political appointees which the community is a beneficiary and assured of their support.

Also, the president Red Cross Society of Nigeria, Ebonyi state branch, Chief Orji Nweze  lamented over the delay in settling the boundary rift between two sisters communities of Ukelle/Igbeagu and urge the state governors to speed up the implementation of the peace pact to ensure refugees are returned back in various home villages.

The zonal chief, Ndubia Igbeagu zone, Chief Peter Nweze and chairman, Eze-in-council, Chief Okeh Francis enjoined political leaders from the area to help in stabilizing peace in the community knowing that electioneering period has gone, and urge them to unite together for the development of the place.

In separate interview, His Royal Highness, Eze Linus Nwizi, Ogbulikwe 111 of Ezza-Inyimegu Community, His Royal Highness, Eze Augustine Mbam,of Ndebor Ezza-Inyimegu autonomous community, Hon. Elijah Nwoji, Councilor representing Igbeagu ward 1, the national youth president, Comrade Paul Isha and the vigilante chairman respectively, Mr James Efitta commended the Council chairman for the proactive measure and promised to sustain the peace initiative.

Recall that Igbeagu autonomous community is one of the communities in Ebonyi that has since April 2005 bedeviled with communal clash over land boundary dispute with her sister Ukelle Community of Yala LGA of Cross River State and the area has since been volatile due to hunger, joblessness and general insecurity.