*Tasks FG on lasting peace measures
From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa of Abia North senatorial district has expressed deep worry over the latest attack on Isu community of Arochukwu Local Government Area by a neighbouring Utuma community of Cross River State.
Both communities have been embroiled in communal clash occasioned by protracted border dispute that has claimed many lives mostly on the Abia side.
No fewer than two persons were killed, while 10 others declared missing in the latest wave of attack by the invading Cross River community on Monday morning.
President General of Isu community, Elder Felix Okoro, who confirmed the attack said gunmen had laid siege on the unsuspecting Isu locals and killed two natives while many others are still missing.
According to him the gunmen invaded Isu community about 8a.m. and shot dead two people before fleeing the scene.
He said the attackers came from the disputed area at Iheosu-Isu where to attack the natives who had been taking refuge at the Internally Displaced People’s, IDP camp located in the community.
Senator Ohuabunwa who strongly condemned the attack described it as “unnecessary”, saying “there are better ways of resolving disputes amicably than resorting to violence.”
The former Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament in a press release he personally signed sued for peace, explaining that dialogues remains the only way to resolve disputes.
He consoled with the families of the victims of the attack and pleaded with the Isu community not to resort to reprisal attack as that would only worsen the already tensed situation.
Senator Ohuabunwa however tasked the security agencies to ensure they maintain their presence in the disputed area to avoid further clashes.
Ohuabunwa also advocated the deployment of more security personnel around the Isu community particularly the IDP camp where most of the victims of previous attacks are still taking refuge.
He also urged Abia and Cross River State Governments to expedite action on the peacefulness resolution of the dispute.
Ohuabunwa further appealed to the Federal Government to direct the National Boundary Commission to ensure proper delineation of the border communities to forestall future clashes.
He recalled his efforts to ensure quick and peaceful resolution of the crisis while he was still at the senate and urged Abia and Cross River State Governments to take further steps to resolve the dispute.
” When I was still in the senate a resolution was made based on my motion part of which was for the federal government to send relief materials to the victims at Isu IDP camp.
” I learnt that that has been done few weeks ago but the second leg of the resolution which is yet to be done was for the National Boundary Commission to quickly resolve the dispute and I had gone further to engage my Cross River colleague so we could fast -track the process but unfortunately I didn’t return (to the senate).”
Ohuabunwa strongly appealed to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu to quickly engage his Cross River counterpart, Professor Ben Ayade to stop further killings and wanton destruction of property.