Communal Clash: Edo community gets N10m cash, relief materials
Edo State Government has presented N10m cash and relief materials worth millions of naira to the people of Bekuma in Akoko Edo Local Government area, who were affected by an attack by some youths from a neighbouring community on 30th March, 2016.
It would be recalled that two persons were feared killed and about 40 houses, a public school and the palace of the village head of Bekuma were razed when some youths from a neighbouring community unleashed an attack on Bekuma on 30th March, this year.
The clash, which occurred between the Uneme-Ekpedo and Bekuma-Okpameri communities started after four persons from Uneme-Ekpedo community went to a bush to pluck mangoes, but one of them was, allegedly killed by youths from Bekuma-Okpameri community, who claimed the mango tree belonged to their village. Angered by the murder of their compatriot, youths from Uneme-Ekpedo mobilized and attacked Bekuma-Okpameri, setting houses ablaze.
While presenting the N10m cash and 150 bundles of roofing sheets to the Oba of Bekuma, Oba Moses Alabi at the palace of the Otaru of Igarra, Oba Emmanuel Adeche Saiki II, on Sunday, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said anyone who ever again resorts to arson and killings in the name of reprisals will be prosecuted and sent to prison after conviction.
He said: “if we quarrel, we must not allow it to degenerate to madness as to begin to burn property, burn houses, destroy assets, or even kill people; which is absolutely unacceptable. We must work together; the traditional institution, the local government and the state government, to identify criminals, it doesn’t matter what interest they pretend to canvass. Arson is a serious crime.
“Killing and destruction of property is a very serious crime. They are capital offences in our legal system. I want to make it very clear: if anyone further resorts to acts of destruction, of killing, or arson, Edo State Government will prosecute immediately, and if we secure a conviction, we will send the person to prison. People like that belong in prison. Nothing justifies those levels of violence as to render anybody homeless.”
He, therefore, commended the royal fathers in Akoko Edo Local Government for fostering unity among the people, saying “I really want to appreciate your royal fathers, for working together as royal fathers in Akoko Edo Local government because by working together and engaging in conversations on matters affecting the people, and various communities in Akoko Edo local government, you are, indeed, leading the people by example.”
Otaru of Igarra Kingdom and Chairman of Bekuma rehabilitation committee, HRH Oba Emmanuel Adeche Saiki II said, “We deeply appreciate you. On behalf of the entire traditional rulers in Akoko Edo local government, I wholeheartedly appreciate you for your kind gesture for the donation of relief materials to Bekuma community in Akoko Edo as a result of the recent communal clash whereby some properties were destroyed. Your response to the incidence goes to show that you are a symbol of honour, confidence and hope and exponent of human kindness to humanity. We share the biblical view that when the righteous rule, the people rejoice.”
While addressing the gathering, the traditional ruler of Bekuma, Oba Moses Alabi said, “I am deeply overwhelmed to sincerely appreciate a day like this. It has made me truly realize that there are God-sent people, that you can make one not to lose his hope. Since the 30th March, 2016 till today, no one has ever seen smile on my face, but today, the Comrade Governor has added smile to the faces of Bekuma. We indeed appreciate the relief materials you have given to us. It is not only the relief materials, but you have relieved our souls.”