Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has assured the people of Ebonyi State that justice would be served in the case of persons recently killed by assailants in the Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Osinbajo stated this on Sunday when he visited the affected communities including Egedegede, Obegu and Amuzu. He was led to the affected communities by the state governor, Dave Umahi.
The vice-president also directed the National Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Ministry Of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management And Social Development to assess the level of damage done by the assailants with a view of providing succor for the affected communities.
According to the governor, at least 15 persons were killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen who attacked the communities on the night of March 29, 2021.
Osinbajo, who was in the state on the direction of President Muhammadu Buhari, met with the stakeholders and people of the affected communities on Sunday to sympathise with them. He also assured them that more security agents will be drafted to secure lives and properties in the area.
He, however, cautioned them not to seek revenge because “nobody knows where it will end. You have done the right thing by peacefully presenting the case to the authority; it is up to the government to seek justice.”
Addressing the people, Osinbajo said, “There are times when incidence like this happens, when people are killed and you feel particularly outraged about what has happened. Those who have been massacred are human beings like you and I who have hopes and aspirations like you and I; young ones, women, children, who are people who woke up in the morning and expected to go about their daily businesses and fend for themselves but they ended up dead not because of anything they have done wrong but because of the cowardly wicked acts of some other people who live in the community with them.
“I want to say that it is a very deeply distressing development and I sympathise not just with the governor and the people of Ebonyi State but in particular the people of the community that have been affected. This whole community, a community that has lived with the (so-called) assailants for many years, what we have seen here is very cowardly and it must not be allowed in our country. It must not be allowed.
“What we must do to ensure this kind of thing does not repeat itself is to beef up security, that is very important. Already, we are in conversation with the GOC (General Officer Commanding), with the Army about ensuring that there are more security around here. Of course, I am aware that the GOC has already made some provisions but obviously, there is a need for even more greater security.
“Local community themselves must be ready to give more information to all enforcement agencies so that appropriate steps can be taken in the event that anybody wants to do any further outbreak.
“Let me assure you that we will seek justice on behalf of those who have died not just because they were our neighbours but because they are human beings and they deserve justice…So far as it lies within our power, we will seek justice.”
The vice-president also said the National Economic Council would make provisions on measures to assuage the pains of the affected families and communities.
“At the level of the National Economic Council which is the meeting between the Federal Government which I have the privilege t o chair and all the governors of the states, we agreed certain things when things like this happen.
“One of the things we agree is that we will jointly pursue the end of justice when things like this happens. We will also make provisions for as much as is possible between the Federal Government and the State Governments for those who have lost their lives for whatever can be done to support those communities but it is a joint effort between the state and the federal government,” he said.
“Once more, let me again sympathise with all members of the communities, the leadership and members of the communities and I pray that this kind of thing will never happen again and we will do everything to protect the people of these communities and this state,” Osinbajo added.