Effium/Ezza War: Umahi warns community stakeholders to ceasefire or risk prosecution


By Victor Nwegede

Governor David Nweze Umahi has urged the stakeholders of Effium and Ezza-Effium, the two waring communities in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State to ceasefire by asking their people especially the warlords to shealth their sword and embrace peace to live as usual for the developmental drive of the area and the state large.

 Umahi made the call on Monday during the stakeholders meeting involving the security heads, Ebonyi founding fathers, key political officeholders and the natives of Effium and Ezza communities held respectively at the Christian Ecumenical Centre and the old Government House Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital as the communal crisis continued lingering. 

He expressed anger over the renewal of the war leading to the destruction of lives and properties in the area, after government's effort to quell the situation and however, accused Ohaukwu Council Chairman, Chief Clement Odah, Chief Chinedu Awo - member representing Ohaukwu North State Constituency and other stakeholders from  the community as the promoters of the crisis.

Umahi also blamed the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Chief Samuel Okoronkwo and his Special Assistant on Parks Development, Chief Emmanuel Igwe for the crisis.

He said the crisis supposed to have stopped if the accused political stakeholders made use of his instructions on how to solve the little problems, which later resulted into a communal war, escalating to the uncontrollable situation.

The governor said, "if the crisis continues in 2days, I will revoke the bails signed for the release of the stakeholders and send them back to cell. I will begin to prosecute them. I will go to court and obtain order that can't allow for bail."

He noted that his government has set up judicial panel of inquiry, and about 25 deaths recorded with 26 arms recovered from the hoodlums, and over 125 houses including filling stations burnt in the war zone.

He added that it was the supremacy underlines between the natives of Effium and Ezza-Effium led to the war as no leader from any of the two communities enjoys respect from the other.

 He maintained:  "There is no way Ezzas will say that they don’t know what is happening at  Effium and there is no way that Effium will say that they don’t know what is happening at Effium. If they ask  you to contribute money whether you know what the money is for or you don’t know what the money is for, the moment you contribute to spilling of blood, it means that you and your generation to the 5th generation will be cursed. 

“If you are here or you know anybody contributing money to buy arms to spill innocent blood, you have to go home and begin prayers because come home come sunshine, the word of God must come to pass, whether you like it or not. We are all  here because God gave us the opportunity. A small diabetes or kidney problem or cancer will demobilize anybody but you don’t have it because of the mercy and the grace of God. So, I have called you as our leaders and stakeholders to ask what do we do to stop this? Enough is enough!
“Let us not forget that  this problem started by the Council Chairman, Clement Odah and Hon. Chinedu Awo the House of Assembly member.  When the problem started between them, I called them severally one on one, three of us. We sat and I pleaded with them. In fact, at a time, one of them walked away on me. It took my begging  the Speaker for the House not to sack the person on this same issue. I just took it that there is nothing a father will not see, there is nothing leadership will not see. Two of them supremacy, 2023 that they do not know whether they will see.
 “So, let it be known that I did everything to stop it, I set up a committee and of course the committee failed me, they are culpable. The Commissioner for local government did not do his works, the SA parks did not do his works. If two of them did their works, the crisis wouldn’t have been because I directed that NURTW should be dissolved but they went and encouraged caretaker even when I expressly said it should not be and that’s how the crisis started.
“Officially, we have recorded about 25 deaths, 26 arms recovered from the hoodlums, about 125 houses burnt, fuel and gas stations burnt. I have written to Minister of Humanitarian Services to come to our aid, I have written to NEMA to come to our aid."

Governor Umahi equally announced that the construction of the road from 135 down to Ezza North, Ezza South, Ikwo, Abakaliki to Nwezenyi, would commence before the end of March and the other one going through Ezzamgbo, Effuim  to start by coming month.

He expressed worry that the crisis might make it difficult for the contractor to work on the war axis, saying by April if the crisis persists, "Effium has lost that section of the road forever," including other developmental plans for the community.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post