The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has urged Ebonyi Government to beef up security ahead of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination in the state.
The Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) being organised by JAMB is due to begin nationwide on Tuesday, April 9.
In a statement signed by its state Secretary, Mr Jerry Oyibe in Abakaliki on Monday, the group said that the appeal was predicated on renewed boundary hostilities in some communities in the state that had led to loss of lives.
Oyibe said that it was the duty of the state government, police and other relevant security agencies to ensure that lives of candidates who were coming from different parts of the country to write the examination were protected.
The group regretted the alleged killing of innocent citizens of the state and destruction of property on Saturday along the disputed boundary between Alike and Enyigba communities in Ikwo and Abakaliki local government areas of the state.
The group, therefore, called on the government, the Police and all relevant security organisations to nip the escalating violence in all parts of the state.
Oyibe also commended the state Governor, Chief Dave Umahi for wading into the renewed clashes in parts of the state and also his threat to sack appointees of the state government, traditional rulers and community leaders where conflicts persisted.
“Right to life is fundamental and inalienable and governments all over exist to provide security and protection to lives and property.
“Considering the increasing spate of crises recently in some parts of the state and in view of the forthcoming university matriculation examination, we are urging the state government and law enforcement agencies to ensure adequate security in the state.
“We wish to urge relevant authorities to ensure water tight security in all the communities where there are renewed hostilities especially in Alike and Enyigba communities in Ikwo and Abakaliki local government areas of Ebonyi.
“We also wish to draw the attention of the state government to this lingering crisis which has led to the killings of many innocent lives especially the recent attack that resulted in fresh killings on Saturday, April 6.
“As UTME begins this week, and most of the candidates will be going to these crisis communities to write their exams, there is need for proper security.
“This is to ensure that nothing happens to the children who will be writing their examination in centres in these places.
“We are also calling on the State government and security agencies to do everything possible to ensure that lasting peace returns to these crisis ridden communities,” Oyibe said.