By Yemi Itodo
The Honourable Member representing Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo federal constituency, Dr. Francis Ottah Agbo, has described as “regrettable”, the communal clash between the Okpoga and Ollo communities of Okpokwu local government of Benue State.
Ollo community in Edumoga district and parts of Okpoga district in Okpokwu, have been involved in communal clashes that have claimed many lives over the years.
The recent attack of Sunday, 28th July, 2019, left at least three persons dead, while two others are still missing.
Reacting to the development, Dr. Agbo, who currently represents the two warring communities at the House of Representatives, called on various stakeholders, including traditional rulers, to synergize in nipping the ugly trend to the bud.
Dr. Ottah-Agbo who is the House Committee Chairman of Drugs/ Narcotics as well as the Minority Spokesman of the House blamed the rampart spate of youth-induced violence in Idoma land and Nigeria in general to drug addiction. He promised to sponsor a Bill that will seek to declare a state of emergency on Drug Abuse with a view to minimizing the scourge. While stressing that there is a correlation between drug addiction and criminality, the Ozigizaga of Idoma politics called on youths to desist from drugs and channel their energy to productive ventures!
The Feed back lawmaker, in a statement he personally signed on Tuesday, recounted that, “the relationship between Ollo and Okpoga communities have had a long history cordiality, and has relatively been violent free.
“However, in recent times, increasing tension and violence have characterized this relationship. The violence which is currently defining the relationship between these two communities are linked to the attacks and reprisals by the communities”.
Agbo said, “These regrettable propensities had culminated at different times in killing of innocent people, with the locals still grappling with the psychological trauma of lost loved ones.
“The facts and realities should be understood with a view to correcting the anomalies that resulted to violence in the past. It is imperative for us all as critical stakeholders to synergize in order to promote peaceful coexistence amongst the communities.
“We should as a matter of importance engage the traditional institution and critical community leaders towards addressing the incessant violent conflict. We should also develop strategic action plans for intervention and provide the needed platform for sustainable peace…”.
While calling on various security agencies to forestall further breakdown of law and order; Hon. Agbo, who is also the Moving Train of Enone urged the communities to embrace peace, adding that, “development is best achieved when relationship between communities are nurtured and strengthened through dialogue”.