The National Chairman of the Isoko Advancement Network (IAN), Chief Paul John Odhomor, on behalf of the Patron of IAN, Chief Ovuozourie S. Macaulay, the Okiroro of Isokoland, commiserates with the families and good people of Oleh over the unfortunate incident that led to the unacceptable and untimely death of their sons and daughters over alleged communal land dispute between Oleh and Ozoro Kingdoms.
The IAN condemned the killings of innocent people, describing it as avoidable and unfortunate. The IAN leader noted that peace is priceless and terror is senseless.
He appealed to the peace loving people of Oleh to avoid reprisal attacks as this will escalate the already unfortunate situation. He counselled that both sides should exercise abundant restraint in the greater interest of Isoko, because it will be devastating to have escalated hostilities between the two administrative headquarters of the Isoko nation.
Chief Odhomor further noted that the issue is now beyond the Isoko Development Union alone and as such must work in sync with government to find a lasting solution to the lingering crisis.In his words “we call on both sides to exercise caution in the interest of peace.
If hostilities continue, it will lead to a very destructive war that can bring about wanton loss of more lives and properties. We cannot afford the cost of this looming crisis. It will disrupt the advancement and gains we have made as a people”!
He advised sons and daughters of Isoko, especially on the various social media platforms to call and mobilize for peace between Oleh and Ozoro, noting that to silence this crisis, we must all raise the voice of peace.
In his words: “Our people especially the users and administrators of social media spaces should use the tool of social media to as much as possible de-escalate the already tensed situation”.
While commending the Leadership of both Isoko North and South Local Government Councils for their respective efforts towards peace building in the ethnic nationality, he called on the State Government to immediately meet with critical stakeholders on both sides, with the aim of restoring lasting peace to the area.
He recommended that an all embracing Peace and Reconciliation Committee should be constituted to lay to rest all issues that have led to the crisis in the first place.
He called on the traditional institutions and leaders from both communities to call for calm in their domain, noting that no meaningful development can thrive in an atmosphere of crisis.
In a statement Chief Odhomor personally signed, he further noted that: “There should be only one fight in our beloved Isoko today: our shared battle for the advancement of the interests of the Isoko ethnic nationality. Poverty, unemployment, hunger and marginalization of the Isoko ethnic nationality should be the war we must win.
“To push Oleh and Ozoro into a battlefield against each other will only herald dire social, economic and political consequences. We must strive for understanding one another and in the words of Albert Einstein: ‘Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding'”.