Ezza-Effium War: Ezza people still killing us - Effiumites cry out

The Effium people in Effium community of Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have said that the impression being created in the media that the Ezza-Effium intra-communal conflict has ended is false.

Effium Indigenous Vanguard yesterday alleged that Ezza warlords were still killing their people despite the presence of security agents in the community.

In a statement signed by Godwin Ogaba and Samson Isih, the group rejected the plan by the Ebonyi state government to force them to continue to coexist with the Ezzas in the community.

They also alleged that the government of Ebonyi state was subtly supporting the Ezza people to exterminate them .

The statement reads, "it is with tears in our eyes that we welcome you yet again to this press briefing today because as at the time of this press release, Ezza warriors and their hired mercenaries have invaded Akparata village of Effium killing scores and burning houses.

"We have observed keenly the body language and the recent utterances and actions of the Governor in the ongoing crisis between Effium Indigenes and Ezza residents in Effium and the humiliating and disparaging treatment of Effium indigenous stakeholders all in an attempt to please and impress the ‘all-intimidating’ Ezza Nation and therefore wish to state as follows:

‘’That we do not only condemn in the strongest terms but totally REJECT the unfortunate stance of the Governor in relation to the Effium/Ezza-Effium crisis as contained in paragraph 7 of the press statement issued and dated 16 th day of June 2021 and signed by the Commissioner for Information and State orientation ‘forcing’ our people to
remain in the ‘marriage’ that has broken down irretrievably and irredeemably through the incessant shed of innocent blood of Effium natives by their ‘almighty’ Ezza neighbors.

‘’It is on record that it has been the Ezzas who have continued to violate every single peace move by the state government with their continuous killing of Effium natives, even as we issue this statement, Ezza warriors have invaded Akparata village killing scores despite the presence of the army in the area. A fortnight ago, Ezza warriors killed Elder Anthony Igwe and his wife on their way to check their compound at Uturu village. This elder Anthony was one of the elders that participated in the recent oath taking between Effium/Ezza Effium elders last month. Just last week, on the 14 th June 2021 precisely,Ezza warriors who were camped at the family house of Hon. Eucharia Ogwale attacked Udome district at the back of Effium police station killing one Awoke Ebubechi and inflicting varying degree of injuries on others. Again, in the early hours of today 18 th June,2021, Ezza warriors invaded and killed scores of Effium natives at Akparata village in the presence of the security agents.

‘’The sad reality is that whenever the Ezza warriors carryout their dastardly attack on Effium natives, the Governor treats such attack with kid gloves but each time the natives try to defend themselves or carryout a reprisal attack, the Governor roars like a lion. This is a clear case of spiting Peter to rub Paul. This hypocritical and political approach to a very sensitive matter like this is unacceptable.

‘’We therefore call on the Governor to rise up to the occasion and discharge his constitutional duty of protecting the lives and properties of the citizens of Nigeria  anywhere in the state, the Effium natives inclusive by courageously and decisively addressing the root causes of this unfortunate and avoidable crisis. It is pertinent to note that every single facts and materials needed by the Governor to decisively address this ugly trend in Effium community have been placed on His Excellency’s table but have refused, neglected and/or failed to act on it because, to His Excellency, “the fear of the 'almighty’ Ezza nation is the beginning of wisdom”.

‘’The insistence of the governor on imposing the two estranged parties on each other is not only suicidal but unreasonable and is akin to telling the two parties to go and continue fighting until they have canceled out themselves from the surface of the earth all in the guise of ‘peaceful co-existence’ which has become practically impossible given the amount of blood-shed in the past and present crises.

‘’We make bold to inform His Excellency that the entire Effium race is ready to die at once and be given mass burial than being killed one after another by Ezza residents in the guise of ‘peaceful co-existence’ which never works and can never work as far as the present generation of Ezza-Effium are concerned. It is on record, that the present crop of Ezzas in Effium have never been at peace with their host community of Effium since 1970s contrary to His Excellency’s belief that the “two brothers have been living at peace with each other for donkey years”. At least, the recent abduction and secret killings is a clear indication that the so-called ‘peaceful co-existence’ never works and can never work as far as the present crop of Ezzas in Effium are concerned.

‘’Therefore we use this release to call on our sons and daughters not to be despaired by the unfortunate statement of the governor as we are optimistic that even if the government fails in its constitutional duty to protect the minority from the majority domination, our God, the God we serve, the God of the minority, the Holy one of Israel is able to deliver us and protect the ‘only inheritance’ which He had given to our forebears in the whole universe.

‘’We use this press release to condemn the attitude of Ezza-Ezekuna elders who have worked relentlessly to broker peace between Izzi and Ikwo while turning deaf ears and blind eyes to the plight of Effium indigenes who are been massacred on daily basis by their sons and daughters resident in Effium community of Ohaukwu Local Government Area. We urge them to show more commitment and neutrality towards restoring permanent peace in Effium as the ‘elder brothers’ in the Ebonyi project.

‘’We also use this release to call on the Judicial Commission of Enquiry set up by the state Government at the inception of this crisis to immediately submit its report and recommendations to the government unless the government by its pre-emptive statement had already made-up its mind on the issue thereby rendering the work of the panel and the CAN Committee nugatory. Recall that the panel was set up in January 2021 and given one month to submit its report but this is five months running and the panel is yet to submit the report of its proceedings.

‘’Finally, we wish to restate our position for a demarcation as the only practical step to ameliorating the incessant killing of Effium natives by Ezza residents. This method worked for Ezilo/Ezza crisis, Enyigba/Enyibichiri and most recently Ishinkwo/Abaomege.

 "What is good for the goose is also good for the gander,’’ the statement said.

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