Ezza/Effium Crisis: Group Faults Umahi Over Senseless killings

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    Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi


    By ANDY NDUBUISI, Abakaliki


    The Ezza-Effium Consultative Assembly has called on the state governor, Dr. David Umahi to show more commitment in resolving the killing and property destruction going on in Effium community.
    In a press statement endorsed by its Chairman, Mr. Aligwe Mathias Chukwuma and Secretary, Mr. Bernard Orichi the Assembly alleged that the state government under Umahi has not shown enough pragmatism in addressing what the called government’s dressing approach and ploy to exterminate some section of the community for political and economic reasons.
    The Assembly said, “Following the persistent killing of our people and destruction of properties worth millions of Naira in Effium Community of Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, the Ezza-Effium Consultative Assembly, once again, is constrained by the obvious circumstances and gimmicks of Ebonyi State Government under Governor David Umahi and other interested parties to express our feelings over the continuous carnage against our people in the area.
    “However, recent developments in the ongoing pogrom are already giving credence to the allegations that the government of Ebonyi State under David Umahi is an interested party in the ongoing genocide against Ezza people of Effium extraction.
    “Evidence abound which are in the public domain, how Uffiom people and their sponsors have blatantly disregarded every peace effort towards ending the ongoing genocide against our people, because, they believe that their evil and premeditated plans to completely wipe Ezza people out of Effium community, have not been 100% achieved and are hellbent on achieving it.
    “For instance, on February 23, 2021, the governor of Ebonyi State, Dr. David Umahi convened separate meetings with stakeholders of Ezza and that of Uffiom at Ecumenical Centre and the old EXCO Chambers, Government House, Abakaliki, respectively; with the aim of finding lasting solutions to the needless crisis.
    “It is in the public domain that, while the Governor was still meeting with stakeholders of Ezza clan at Ecumenical Centre on February 23, 2021, reports came in that Uffiom warriors and their hired mercenaries were attacking Ugoeze and Onueroro villages where they succeeded in killing over 21 of our people and burnt down houses.  
    “On 24th February, Governor Umahi also convened a joint meeting with our stakeholders and the stakeholders of Uffiom clan, but it was disheartening that while the meeting was still going-on, report also came in, that Uffiom warriors and their hired mercenaries were attacking Okpobashi where they ended up killing over 20 of our people and setting many houses ablaze, including a church.
    “It was quite clear from what was presented that following the two days peace meetings which Governor Umahi personally presided over, far reaching resolutions towards ending the crisis were made, part of which was that our people and Uffiomites were given two weeks to make wider consultations in order to have a common ground that would enable the state government take a decision that would bring lasting peace in our community. 
    “The Governor also threatened to hold responsible, stakeholders of either Ezza or Uffiom who allowed their people to foment trouble in the area again, while the government searches for a lasting peace. 
    “But it is regrettable that while our people embraced peace, the Uffiom people refused and continued to massacre our people.
    “Following the unabated killings of our defenseless children, mothers and fathers, the state government on March 23, 2021, again hbeld another peace pact with the stakeholders of both clans, which was presided over by the Deputy Governor, Dr Kelechi Igwe at the old government house,Abakaliki. 
    “In the peace meeting, the stakeholders of both clans agreed to end any form of attack in Effium community.
    “But, on March 24, 2021, barely 24 hours the peace pact was reached, the Uffiom warlords and their hired mercenaries invaded and raised down Nwekendiegu and other parts of the community where our people live, killed hundreds of them and razed over hundreds of houses.
    “What has continued to worry us and giving us great concern, is the lukewarm and weak attitude of Ebonyi State government under Governor Umahi, whose actions and body language are clear indication of connivance with the Uffiom people to exterminate our people, using a surrogate, Mr Clement Odah, who is the Executive chairman of Ohaukwu LGA and native of Uffiom clan for the execution of the evil agenda.
    “Recall further that on 28 December 2020, when the Ohaukwu people payed a Christmas visit to the governor in his Uburu country home, the governor while addressing them told the gathering that he had forgiven the Ohaukwu council chairman, Clement Odah all his sins and the one he is yet to commit, hence this actions.
    “Again, on Monday 22nd March, 2021 in a peace meeting conveyed by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe for both parties, the DSS arrested four persons of Ezza-Effium extraction, who include, Hon Chinedu Awo, Dr. Ignatius Unah, Sir Emmanuel Uzo and Dr J.O.J. Utobo, leaving the Uffiom people to walk their ways in celebration.
    “These are few of the impunity against our people, otherwise, why would the same Governor Umahi that vowed to arrest and prosecute stakeholders of Ezza or Uffiom that allow their people to cause further trouble in Effium community be keeping quite as if he is not aware of the renewed killings of our people by Uffiom warlords and their hired mercenaries.
    “The actions of Ebonyi State Government under Umahi towards resolving the crisis have been more like a smokescreen and window dressing, apparently aimed at achieving the reality of the script already written before the genocide began.
    “If not so, what proactive measures have government under Umahi taken to address this issue? 
    “As a people, we don’t want to believe yet, the allegation in some quarters, that Ebonyi State government under Umahi is backing this genocide against our people because of his interest in a mineral deposit in Effium community.
    “The Ohaukwu Council Chairman, Clement Odah whom the governor has severally called his son, always deceive the state government into calling for futile peace meetings, within which period, he uses as a cover-up to plan and executive fresh attacks on our people.
    “Mr Clement Odah is using the Ohaukwu council funds to hire and arm mercenaries to annihilate Ezza people of Effium extraction, yet Ebonyi State government, is looking the other way.
    “In spite of the security reports indicting Clement Odah and his cohorts in this genocide against our people, the Ebonyi government under Governor Umahi, doesn’t want to take any practical and pragmatic actions, even when the Uffiom people have breached several ceasefire agreements.
    “This is a clear confirmation and indication that governor Umahi has derailed from the constitutional oath he took to protect the lives and properties of Ebonyians because of selfish political and economic reasons.
    “Indeed, to prove that the ongoing carnage and genocide against Ezza people in Effium Community is premeditated, in 2016, an Uffiom man killed an Ezza man in Okporo forest of the community and it didn’t lead to war. Our people allowed the law to take its course, rather than engaging in reprisal. 
    “But just a mere fight between two of the loyalists of the chairman over motor park leadership, has led to an unending war of this nature, which confirms that there had been a game plan to wage war against our people by Uffiomites and their sponsors.
    “In view of the foregoing, we call on Governor Umahi to act now or resign. 
    “We can’t fathom why a Governor would place political and economic interests above the lives of the citizens he swore to protect.
    “We also call on the federal government to intervene in the ongoing genocide in the area, having observed the insincerity and inability of Ebonyi State government to do the needful.
    “We want to also use this medium to call on the stakeholders of Ngbo, Ntezi, Ezillo and Nkalagu clans to call their youths to order, because security reports available to us have revealed that some disgruntled elements within these sister clans are are being hired by Uffiom people and their sponsors to aid the prosecution of the ongoing genocide against our people; and a lot of them have been caught by security agents in the evil act, in recent time.
    “Else, we might be forced to believe that these clans have joined forces to exterminate our people in Effium community.
    “Once again, we have resolved as a people that there will be no going back to defend our collective rights and ensure that even the last man standing will continue to push on until we reclaim our rights”, the Assembly stated.

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