• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Communal crisis: Ebonyi women protest in Government House

Communal crisis: Ebonyi women protest in Government House

It was an ‘ugly drama’ in  Abakaliki,  the Ebonyi State capital, on Monday, December 16, when about over 100 women of ages between 60 and 90 years protested naked to Government House over a communal crisis rocking Agubua-Igbudu community in Ikwo local government area of the state, leading to alleged arrest of some youths by security forces.

The women alleged that nine of their children were arrested on Saturday, December 14 by security men on the order of officials of the local government. According to the women, there have been incessant arrests in their village since November when the crisis broke; a development they said was no longer acceptable.

The protesting women want the state governor to direct stakeholders in Ikwo to return home and resolve the crisis, so as to allow peace return to the community, adding that their children were scattered “here and there” due to the fear of being molested and arrested.

“The latest was the arrest of two persons from the village in a wedding ceremony on Saturday in Abakaliki,” said one of the protesting women.

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Recall that a bloody clash erupted between two rival groups over a motor park in the community which claimed the life of one Chinedu Nwali, and left many others injured, while houses, cars and other properties estimated at millions of naira were damaged. The Agubia motor park is the central park that serves Ikwo-south community. The women noted that since this clash, they have been seeking refuge in nearby communities while many of their children “are nowhere to be found.”

Mercy Nwali, who spoke on behalf of the women, said that the protest was to demand for an urgent amicable resolution of the crisis as their lives and that of their family members have been in danger since then.

“What we demand is that all of them should come home so that we make peace. They shouldn’t be in town and be terrorising us in the village. We no longer sleep in our homes and we want government to intervene”, Nwali explained, while also calling for the immediate release of their children being held in detention.

Also Juliana Nwali, who gave the names of her children arrested as Igwe Nwali, Chikwendu Nwali and Chineme Nwali, demanded that her children be released to her.

Addressing the women, the state commissioner for internal security and border peace, Stanley Emegha, assured them that the government would work to restore peace in the area.

“You know, you are our mothers. Our governor was not happy to see you in this way and mood. So, whatever is the problem, I assure you it will be resolved,” said Emegha