*laud Gov Umahi, Council Chairman’s peace efforts
By; ANDY NWOGHA, Abakaliki
The indigenes of Effium under the aegies of Effium Indigenous Vanguard, have called for the sack of Chief Press Secretary to deputy governor of Ebonyi State, Dr Monday Uzor and Hon Chinedu Awo, member representing people of the area for their alleged role in the ongoing Communal war between Ezza and Effium community of Ohaukwu Council Area.
The group made the appeal while briefing journalists in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.
According to them, the group condemned the unwarranted and genocide continuous killing against the indigenous people of Effium by Ezza warriors and their hired mercenaries, appealing sponsors to desist from such an unholy act.
Speaking on behalf of the people, Mr Godwin Ogaba, chairman, Effium Indigenous Vanguard appreciated the peace effort of president Muhammadu Buhari who through the vice president, visited the incident scene.
EIV also commended governor David Umahi and the Council Chairman,Barr Omekannaya Odah for their unrelenting spirit in bringing peace to both divides, especially the recent deployment of more army troops and other security personnel to the troubled community which has resulted to a relative calm in some couples of days and pledged to abide by every peace move made by relevant authorities.
The group berated Ezza-Effium Consultative Assembly whom they accused of infantile nature had flooded the media with lies, thereby, promoting the crisis.
The release reads in part: ” We wish to appreciate His Excellency,our dear president, Muhammadu Buhari, who, through the Vice president,professor Yemi Osibanjo visited Effium community on Sunday 4th April,2021 to ascertain the magnitude of the crisis and to calm the warring parties.
” We had avoided this conference for long because we never wanted to join issue with our Ezza children who in their infantile nature had flooded the media with lies which they released on 8th and 26th March,2021, 1st and 4th April 2021 respectively through their chief propagandist Ezza-Effium Consultative Assembly;it has now become imperative following the auspicious visit of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to set the record straight.
“However,it should be noted that the Ezzas have continued to violate EVERY SINGLE peace agreement and ceasefire order by the state government even at the time of this press release, Ezza fighters are currently attacking Lebadegum and Ofuke in Akparata axis.
” We employ this press release to appeal to Benue State government to complement the effort of Ebonyi State government in nipping this crisis in the bud by urgently taking drastic measures to stop Ezza fighters from using the border routes to come and attack Effium natives as the Ezza fighters who attacked Lebadegum/Ofuke villages of Effium are believed to have come from the Benue/Ebonyi boundary. This is important if we must avoid another inter-state war.
” Recently,these attackers by the Ezzas have graduated from the use of AK-47 and AK-49 to the use of Improvised Explosive Devices(IEDs). The Effium natives have suffered so many casualties with over one thousand killed and over two thousand (2000) houses burnt with properties worth billions of naira destroyed. This clearly confirms the extermination agenda of the Ezzas against the Effium natives including pregnant women, elders, and children at ugede village and the subsequent occupation of the place by Ezzas till date.
“Again,the Ezzas in one of their numerous press releases, claimed that the Effium natives killed one of them in the Forest Reserve in 2016 and that it did not lead to war. Yes, it was so, because justice was served as the Council Chairman,Barr Omekannaya Odah,joined by some other Effium stakeholders quickly intervened and ensured the immediate arrest and prosecution of the culprit.
Continuing, “On the purported arrest of 66 and release of 55 Effium natives at Okpoduma village,we wish to put the record straight and categorically state that the pictures and identities of the innocent youth were natives who gathered to bury one Merenge Udegi who was killed during the attack of 2nd April,2021 by Ezza warriors. As a matter of fact,they were not arrested as acclaimed by Dr Monday Uzor but were being addressed by delegation led by His Excellency,the Deputy Governor,who was on a routine visit to Effium. We further condemn in it’s entirety, the unprofessional action of Dr Monday Uzor,the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor who mislead the public by hurriedly posting pictures of the youth who were being addressed by his Principals’ team.
“As a result of this, we call on the state government, particularly, the Deputy Governor to immediately sack the said Dr Monday Uzor for overheating the already deteriorated situation with his unprofessional and bias handling of the purported arrest and/or release of 55 Effium youth as such amounts to misleading the Public and there by, promoting the lingering communal crisis,it should be noted that the said Dr Monday Uzor is from Ezza-Effium and as such an interested party.
“Again, we frowned at the attitude of the Ezzas and in particular, Ezza-Effium Consultative Assembly,who in their usual conspiracy, have criminally and conspiratorially skipped the Chief Perpetrator of this carnage Hon. Chinedu Awo in every of their press release, thereby, misleading the unsuspected public as to the real cause of the present crises in Effium community.
“We, therefore, use this medium to call on the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly to with immediate effect suspend INDEFINITELY the said Hon. Chinedu Awo for bequeathing this war as his FIRST AND ONLY constituency project to Effium community since voted into power as this will serve as a deterrent to other leaders with penchant for trouble making. It emphasized.