Some children have been abducted from Enyigba community in Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State over its land dispute with Enyibichiri community of Ikwo Local Government Area.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation in the state, Uchenna Orji, who confirmed the incident in a statement on Monday, June 7, said Governor David Umahi has promised to rescue the abducted children.
The statement did not mention the number of children abducted and their ages.
The Governor pled with abductors to release the children to the government within the next 7 days with a promise of total amnesty to them.
“Ebonyi State Governor, David Nweze Umahi is deeply sad with the sudden turn of events between two brothers of Enyibuchiri Ikwo and Enyigba Abakaliki,” the statement reads.
“The abduction of the children of Enyigba Abakaliki by some miscreants from Enyibichiri Ikwo is the height of provocation as there was no dispute between the two communities.
“The Governor is aware that the only land dispute between them has been finally settled by the government with the assistance of the Christian Associaton of Nigeria CAN and the Bishops in Ebonyi State, which took the state over three years to find lasting peace in the area.
“It is to be noted that Ebonyi State government through CAN went as far as hiring heavy-duty equipment working on the disputed land for three months and a final demarcation was successfully done and same accepted by both parties.
“Government, therefore, wonders why the abduction of innocent children of Enyigba Izzi, should be hatched and executed by just a few miscreants of Enyibichiri Ikwo. The Governor assures the entire Izzi clan that the entire Enyibichiri and Ikwo people at large totally condemn this act as evil
“The Governor vows to rescue and reunite these children to their families at all costs and therefore pleads with our Izzi brothers and sisters to please remain calm and prevent their children from taking laws into their hands while promising them that within 7 days, this matter about the abduction of their children will be amicably resolved
“The Governor is very hopeful that with his government, religious leaders and good stakeholders of Ebonyi State, these children will be returned to the people of Izzi without any harm. The Governor, therefore, pleads with abductors to kindly release the children to the government within the next 7days from this 6th of June,2021 with a promise of total amnesty to them
“Government is not willing to release any of the leaders of Enyibichiri, that are in detention to underscore the value of the lives of those abducted. The Governor believes that every life is sacred, and the life of those abducted matters so much to the government
“Government, therefore, warns the abductors of the consequences of not providing these children in the next seven (7) days, as government shall have no option other than to move into Enyibichiri to make a massive arrest to get back the children
“The Governor, therefore, admonishes the parents of the abductors, both the immediate and extended families, that they are well known and pleads with them to talk to their children to release those innocent children. He further warns that should they fail, refuse and or neglect to do that, the government will fish them out, no matter where they run to
“The Governor appeals to parents in Ebonyi State to please advise their children to be law-abiding as any further killings in Ebonyi State, burning of police stations, attack on security agencies or innocent citizens, where we cannot apprehend those involved, we will go for their family members.
“Government has given enough room and a lot of incentives and empowerment packages for our youths to turn away from crimes and not take laws into their hands. The grace period is over and it is time for parents to advise their children, or submit the names of such children that they cannot control to the government
“Government warns all political gladiators irrespective of political party affiliation who, through their fake news, and various media outbursts either initiate this crisis in the state or get involved in inciting crisis or escalating it, that government will not fold its hands but will go after them no matter where they are
“Government warns that any news you are posting or circulating, you should be able to prove it. The government is pleading that we as leaders of Ebonyi State should not play with the lives of our youths or our citizens for whatsoever gains, as everyone will give an account before God of whatever blood that is shed
“While the security challenges are being sorted out, the Governor requests the good people of Ebonyi State to go about their normal businesses as the government is doing everything possible to protect their lives and properties,” the statement concluded.