Hon. Francis Ottah Agbo representing Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency, on Sunday, visited the warring Okpoga and Ollo communities in Okpokwu Local Government of Benue State, calling on the people to embrace peace.
The two communities had been enmeshed with age long crises, with the recent crisis claiming lives and property worth millions of naira.
Hon. Agbo, in company of Okpokwu Local Government Council Chairman, Mrs. Amina Audu and other stakeholders, interfaced with the traditional rulers, youths, clergy and security agencies, where all parties agreed to embrace peace.
He praised the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Engr. Benson Abounu, for holding fort on behalf of the governor and for deploying security to the troubled zone.
Agbo also assured the warring communities of the government’s sustained commitment to ensuring lasting peace returned to Okpokwu, adding that the sponsors of the crises must be brought to book.
“Every crisis has sponsors, we must try to get to the roots of this. We must strive to rid this Local Government of criminality and criminal elements.
“I am happy the Federal Government and the Benue State government have zero tolerance for crimes and criminalities.
“We shall synergize with the state government and relevant organizations, especially, the security agencies, to put a lasting end to this savage violence not just in Okpokwu but anywhere it raises its ugly head”, Agbo said.
He cautioned those who fan the ember of hate, by instigating the public against those in authority, to stop forthwith, while urging those who play politics with the unfortunate situation to desist from it.
The lawmaker urged the people to give maximum cooperation to the leaders from the area, while assuring the communities of the readiness of Governor Samuel Ortom to nip the criminality in Okpokwu in the bud.
Agbo said, “People who complained that the Governor traveled to America while Okpokwu was boiling, do not understand the workings of government.
“Wherever the Governor is, he can give orders and also attend to critical issues through his Deputy or any government official. Moreover, he has a capable deputy who is very sensitive to the plight of our people.
“My coming here is also on behalf of Governor Ortom , Deputy Governor, Engr. Abounu and Senator Abba Moro, who had traveled for international engagement that would be of immense benefit to the Benue family”.
Agbo, who is the Minority Caucus Spokesman and House Committee Chairman of Drugs and Narcotics, commended the council Chairman, Mrs. Audu, for her prompt response to this crisis. He also acknowledged the role of the security agencies and local vigilante for effectively managing the crisis.
On her part, Mrs. Audu praised the House of Reps Member for his quick response to the crisis and for personally come home for on-the -spot assessment of the crisis. She lauded the efforts of the State Government for swiftly mobilising security to the troubled zones.
She said, “despite being in America, the Governor and Senator Abba Moro have always been in touch with us at home and we always give minute-by-minute update on the situation”.