By Vincent Ujumadu
Following the lingering communal crisis between the Isu community in the Arochukwu council area and her Utuma neighbours in the Biase council area of Cross River State, the Abia State government has held medical outreach for over 3,500 Internally Displaced Persons at Isu Community.
A boundary dispute had erupted between the Isu community and her Utuma clan over limestone deposits located in the area. President General of Isu Progressive Union, IPU, Elder Felix Okoro, told South East Voice, that over 3,500 indigenes of the community have been displaced due to the crisis.
Speaking during the flag-off of a 2-day medical outreach at the IDP camp located at Ohabuike Primary School, Obieze Isu, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Osuji said that the state government had embarked on the 2-day medical outreach following news of border clashes that had made the Isu people become refugees on their land. The Commissioner stated that efforts are ongoing to resolve the dispute to ensure that the IDPs return to their ancestral home.
In their separate speeches, the traditional rulers of the affected communities, Eze Mortimor Kalu Ogbonna and Eze Micheal Udo Kalu commended Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for responding to their call for medical assistance and prayed for a quick resolution to the conflict.
Some of the IDPs; Mrs. Joy Ogbonnaya, Elder Nwachi-meme Kalu, and Apostle Nwachukwu Obasi expressed gratitude to the state government for coming to their aid. In an interview with South East Voice, the President General of IPU, Elder Felix Okoro, lamented that the IDPs are faced with challenges ranging from food and medical supplies to security, which had placed a burden on the community.
In his words, “As a result of the attack, over 3,500 indigenes in Amachi, Ugbu, and other communities in Isu clan have been displaced. Over 60 people have been killed. Many houses were burnt; the people can no longer access their farms.
“Anybody who goes to a farm in the disputed area is killed. The IDPs have been living under poor conditions at Ohabuike Primary School. The community spends about N2 million monthly to cater for the IDPs. We are calling on the federal and state governments to come to our aid.
“Four months ago, the NEMA visited and promised to provide relief materials to the IDPs. Since then, we have not heard from them.”