Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, at Isu community in Arochukwu council area of Abia State, have sent an SOS to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to assist them with palliatives to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Over 3,500 IDPs are quartered at the Ohabuike Primary School, Obieze-Isu, since a renewed boundary clash erupted between the community and Utuma clan in Biase council area of Cross River State, over limestone deposits.
In an interview with Vanguard, President-General of the community, Elder Felix Okoro, disclosed that over 50 persons have died and 60 houses burnt, explaining that the sufferings of the IDPs have been further complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He urged Governor Ikpeazu and NEMA to come to the aid of the IDPs as the community now finds it difficult to provide food, drugs and clothing for them.
Okoro lamented that the IDPs risk mass starvation and death if nothing was done to provide palliative materials to the camp.
In his words: “The Isu IDPs now live under very difficult conditions. Food, drugs and clothing are in short supply. With the COVID-19, It is difficult for the Isu villages who are yet to be attacked to continue sending food materials to the IDPs.
“We need food, clothing, drugs, cash, face mask and hand sanitisers for the IDP camp. Isu people are grateful to the Abia State government, NEMA and philanthropists for their assistance, but like Oliver Twist, we ask for more because the IDPs are passing through a terrible situation.
“NEMA had visited the IDP camp and promised to make another visit, but we are yet to hear from them. We appeal for palliatives for the IDPs to avoid mass starvation and death.”
While urging the federal and state governments to find lasting solutions to the Isu-Utuma conflict, Okoro called for the return of the former police station at Iheosu-Isu to maintain peace in the area.