The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has assured the Ebonyi State communities affected by the recent herdsmen killings of the Federal Government’s determination to fish out and prosecute the culprits.
Osinbajo gave the assurance on Sunday during his one-day working visit to the State.
The Vice President, who toured the affected communities in Ishielu Local Government Area to ascertain the level of damages with Governor David Umahi and members of his entourage, described the killings as both condemnable and unacceptable.
He promised that the Federal Government must dig deep into the matter to bring perpetrators to book, adding that it was the responsibility of government at all levels to stem insecurity.
While commending the local authorities in Egedegede, Obeagu and Amuzu, all in Nkalaha Community, Ishielu LGA, for availing government some evidence that would enable investigation, he pledged the Federal Government’s commitment to beefing up security in the area.
Osinbajo said the Federal Government in the immediate would mobilise the National Emergency Management Agency and other appropriate departments to bring relief to the affected community, calling on the State Government to also complement the efforts.
Osinbajo said: “We condole with the good people of Egedegede and Effium community.
“We are very concerned about the fact that these killings, especially the one in Egedegede community, where innocent people were slaughtered, women, children were killed in circumstances which obviously are still being investigated, but we say that these killings must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
“We must find all of those who committed these acts and and we must ensure that they are prosecuted and that justice is ensured for all of those who lost their lives and of course members of their family.
“It is the responsibility of Government, both the federal, state and the stakeholders’ duty to ensure that we maintain as much as possible the peace in all of the communities where we serve.
“The people of Egedege were able to find some evidence, which they presented to me and the security agencies will investigate with evidence given to me.
“Aside from seeking justice from those who have been killed and for those who have lost their properties, we also intend to ensure that we beef up security, especially in those communities.
“Already more soldiers have been deployed to the three communities and of course more policemen were deployed.
“The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management will be mobilised to provide as much relief as is possible in the short term to ensure that those who have been displaced from their homes have at least a shelter.
The VP advised the people not to resort to self help and violence, but allow constituted authorities who have the legal use of force to do so.
He said: “We accept responsibility and we are doing the very best that is possible to ensure that that responsibility is carried out.”
Umahi in his remarks appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his concern over the unfortunate happening.
He called on the Federal Government to bring justice to the affected families in particular and the community in general, warning that if such killings should occur again, he may not be able to control the reprisals that may follow from the people.
He demanded that 400 Soldiers and 400 policemen be drafted to the crises area of Effium to support security.
The Governor also requested that the Federal Government assists the people with the sum of N3 billion to rebuild their homes with other relief materials to sustain themselves.
While welcoming the Vice President, the Chairman of Founding Fathers of the State and former Governor of the State, Chief Martin Elechi, assured the the people of the State would cooperate with any measure taken by the federal government to guarantee the safety of Ebonyi citizens.
Elechi wished Osinbajo well and appreciated the Federal Government for taking interest in the ugly incident.
Recall that few days ago, some alleged herdsmen invaded some villages in Nkalaha, Ishielu LGA, killing many persons and destroying properties.
This happened as the State Government has been working hard to stem the intra-communal crises between Effium and Ezza Effium people of Ohaukwu LGA.