The Isoko Advancement Network (IAN) has commiserated with the families and entire people of Oleh over the unfortunate incident that led to the untimely death of their sons and daughters over an alleged communal crisis between Oleh and Ozoro Kingdoms, describing the development as unacceptable.
The National Chairman of the group, Chief Paul John Odiomor, in a statement issued on behalf of its Patron, Chief Ovuozourie Macaulay, condemned the loss of innocent lives in the avoidable crisis, stressing that peace was priceless and terror senseless.
He appealed to the people of Oleh not to contemplate reprisal attacks as that would escalate the already tensed situation, urging both parties to exercise restraint in the greater interest of the Isoko nation.
Chief Odhomor further noted that the issue had gone beyond the Isoko Development Union, hence the need to collaborate 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.
While commending the authorities of Isoko north and south local governments for their efforts towards peace building in the ethnic nationality, the IAN leader called on the state government to immediately meet with critical stakeholders on both sides, with a view to 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 had led to the crisis and called on the traditional institutions and leaders from both communities to call for calm in their domains.
Chief Odiomor said to allow the crisis to persist would only herald dire social, economic and political consequences, concluding that “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”