"Sen. Sam Egwu's reign of terror in Ebonyi: An open wound that can't heal compared to Umahi's excellent security score card"


Senator Sam Egwu.

Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha in this piece described Senator Sam  Egwu's 8-years in office as the former Governor of Ebonyi State as reign of terror - an open wound that cannot heal compared to Governor David Umahi's excellent security score card. Read on:

The All Progressives Congress (APC), Ebonyi State Chapter had in an 8-point Press Statement signed by the State Publicity Secretary, Mr. Simbad Chidi Ogbuatu, adequately responded to the malicious Press Release issued by the National Assembly Caucus of Ebonyi State Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) led by Sen. Sam Ominyi Egwu, bordering on alleged deteriorating security challenges in the state, accusing the Ebonyi State Government under the dynamic leadership of His Excellency, the wonder working Governor, Engr. David Nweze Umahi for purportedly recruiting and arming a group of thugs codenamed Ebubeagu Security Outfit as well as alleged distribution of weapons to Development Centre Coordinators and other agents of the State Government, to use same, to intimidate and harass the opposition. Such spurious claim is a calculated attempt to tarnish the good image and hard earned reputation of the Governor.
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

However, the essence of this rejoinder is to subject to thorough scrutiny, the security and human right posture of the fascist regime of Sen. Sam Egwu as the pioneer civilian Governor of Ebonyi State that was characterized by high degree of insecurity, unbridled violence, horrendous killings and all forms of criminality that pervaded the political landscape in the State for the 8 years of his uneventful, visionless and directionless administration in comparison to the visionary and pragmatic regime of the Peace Ambassador, Engr. David Nweze Umahi.

It is an irony of fate that Dr. Egwu seem to have forgotten too soon what triggered off the self inflicted reign of terror that destroyed his administration for the two terms of 8 years he was in office, which unarguably was ignited following the December 2000 meeting of stakeholders summoned by him to help him chart a new course for the socio-economic and political development of the state. Much to the disappointment of the stakeholders, the decision of the Forum to make the meeting a regular feature of the Egwu administration was thwarted by the Governor himself who allowed himself to be deceived by his surrogates to believe that Abuja politicians were trying to hijack his administration. Consequently, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, the then Senate President of the 1st Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who happened to be the leader of the forum was banned by Governor Egwu from visiting Ebonyi State including foreclosing  the possibility of allowing him to attend the stakeholders’ meeting rescheduled to hold in March, 2001.

On the date of the second meeting of the stakeholders, the Ebonyi State Government acting in line with the primitive and barbaric disposition of its leadership mobilized Ebonyi youths to ambush and lay siege at all entry points to the state, waiting for the arrival of the Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim who was slated to be assassinated publicly – an incredible development that is only akin to an Action Movie. Since the officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force could not fold their hands to watch the public execution of the number 3 citizen in Nigeria, they swiftly swung into action. This was the genesis of the dark history of the killing of the Ezillo 4 who met their waterloo in the course of their dangerous mission to showcase the head of the Senate President at Ebonyi Government House whose burial was later conducted the same day in a mock coffin at the Government House. Unfortunately, one of the four irrational youths who would have been the lucky survivor made startling confession of their inglorious mission at the Ebonyi State Police Command Headquarters, Abakaliki. Then acting under the cover of taking the victim to UNTH, Enugu for the treatment of a bullet wound he sustained, a friend of the Governor, a bloody civilian who was asked to escort him to the hospital, later confirmed him dead half way into the journey. May God have mercy on us that such dastardly act happened under our watch in the 21st century.

The unceremonious death of the notorious Ezillo 4 opened the floodgate of other atrocities in the state. Cultism was magnified and indiscriminately promoted by the State Government to the extent that leaders of different fraternity groups were officially quartered at Ezza Road Government Lodge. Cult related murder became the order of the day as corpses were often time littered on the streets of Abakaliki without the culprits being apprehended. The culture of violence pervading across the state permeated into the lifestyle of political office holders such that the kitchen cabinet members of the Governor were predominantly drawn from Council Chairmen who recklessly butchered their people without reservation. No wonder, the reign of terror instituted in Afikpo North LGA by the then Council Chairman, at a point, witnessed the death of a Catholic Priest who was roasted alive in his house at Ndibe-Afikpo while a business mogul, Ikpor Mbey (aka I no want case) was murdered in his house at Amasiri. Within the period under review, the opposition was not spared as some opposition candidates were either incarcerated without trial or arrested on the day of their own election for no just cause. In fact, unimaginable number of innocent citizens paid the supreme price under the watch of the vicious Egwu administration and the sad memory of the deceased victims would forever remain indelible in the hearts of the bereaved families.

Come to think of it, the general public and the likes of the Abuja politicians should not loose sight of the fact that the establishment of Ebubeagu Security Outfit after proper legislation was an emergency security measure adopted by South East Governors following wide consultations with a cross section of Igbo leaders of thought and other interest groups who gave their blessings towards the birth of the security outfit in a bid to complement the efforts of security agencies in combating the menace of unknown gunmen and all forms of criminality terrorizing and threatening the peace of the region. These dare devil robbers launched incessant attack on the police and also masterminded the destruction of government facilities across the state. This was why it became imperative that the formation, training and handling of security gadgets of Ebubeagu Security Outfit were handled and controlled by the Nigerian Security Agencies for the sake of professionalism and coordinated operations.

It is not in dispute that one of the greatest legacies of the Gov. Umahi led administration in Ebonyi State is in the area of peace and security. This was why it was possible for him to resolve amicably to the satisfaction of the warring parties barely 4 months he assumed office the protracted Ezillo and Ezza-Ezillo crises that had in the past defied any known solution. Similarly, the Enyigba/Enyibichiri war that assumed unprecedented hostilities and even recorded death toll of unimaginable proportion was eventually quelled by the Umahi administration. In other words, the spectrum of peace building initiative across all communities in the state that is an enduring legacy of the Umahi administration is endless, and the monstrous image being painted against the Governor by Egwu and his co-travelers is not only fallacious but simply a product of malice and envy.

In fact, the grim security situation in Nigeria today is a national calamity that ought to be a source of concern to every well meaning citizen. This ugly cankerworm assumed ethnic peculiarities in the six geo-political zones. While the major security challenges threatening peace in the South East States is basically the nefarious activities of the unknown gunmen, the unprovoked invasion of Egedegede Community in Ishielu LGA by Fulani Herdsmen and the renewal of the fratricidal war between the people of Effium and Ezza-Effium in Ohaukwu LGA which initially manifested dangerous signs of tearing the state apart before it was quelled, attracted the sympathy, prayers and support of Ebonyians thus compelling the State Government to dole out fund for payment of compensation to bereaved families and for the rehabilitation of homeless victims. It is shameful that the Abuja politicians who in their pretentions character usually cry more than the bereaved rather than lend helping hand to the victims. No wonder they are busy running their toxic month, making incendiary comments about insecurity.

Be that as it may, Engr. David Nweze Umahi is a man of honour who deserves to be accorded due respect by Sen. Sam Egwu no matter the angle anybody looks at it. This is against the backdrop that the Governor in his magnanimity sacrificed so much to assist him clinch the senatorial seat for Ebonyi South Senatorial District for two consecutive terms - a feat the Distinguished Senator did not achieve during the regime of other Governors. Unfortunately, what Gov. Umahi is getting in return is a stab at the back.

It is a sad commentary that Sen. Sam Egwu who once eulogized Gov. Umahi, describing him as a remarkable builder and a great achiever whose unwavering commitment and passion in transforming Ebonyi State is unparalleled, could suddenly turn round, constantly launching unprovoked attack and making sweeping statements against his acclaimed hero. Why the sudden change? Could it be because Gov. Umahi joined the All Progressives Congress in a bid to create a new vista of hope for Ndigbo? Or it is because Umahi who was the pride and pillar of the Ebonyi State Chapter of PDP abandoned the party to its fate, to dissipate in tatters?  Perhaps Egwu is afraid that Gov. Umahi will obliterate his record of poor performance in office as erstwhile Governor of the State and confine same to the garbage can of forgotten history. Nevertheless, the general public is conscious of the fact that the mudslinging exercise against the Governor is the grand gimmick associated with the race to Ebonyi Government House in 2023 which PDP is a sorrowful loser.

However, I make bold to say that the wickedness of the wicked shall certainly come to a miserable end since darkness will never triumph over light. But the defence of righteousness is the vindication of the just through the eloquent testimonies of the masses. This is the glorious reward of Gov. Umahi whose excellent score card in all spheres of human endeavor especially in the area of security will forever remain his protective armor against the unprovoked onslaught of his detractors.

APC Next Level!!!
Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha  is the 
Chairman APC Caretaker Committee,
Ebonyi State Chapter.

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