Over 25 persons killed, 26 arms recovered, 125 houses burnt, in Effium crisis- Gov Umahi
… Blames council boss, lawmaker, others over lingering destructions
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state, on Monday, blamed the lingering killings, razing of houses in Effium community on the alleged inability of the chairman of Ohaukwu LGA, Clement Odah, Chinedu Awo, who is the lawmaker representing Ohaukwu north consistency to control their people.
He made the disclosure during a meeting with stakeholders of the community which took place at the Christian Ecumenical centre, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital.
Umahi revealed that over 25 deaths have been recorded following the crisis, 26 arms recovered from hoodlums, 125 houses burnt, fuel and gas stations also set ablaze.
The governor also blamed the state Commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters, Samuel Okoronkwo and his Special Assistant on Parks Development, Emmanuel Igwe, for the crisis.
Umahi explained that the crisis wouldn’t have occurred if the political stakeholders of the community listened to his instructions on how to solve the little problems that were occurring in the community before it became uncontrollable.
He alleged that money was being contributed by the warring parties to promote the crisis and vowed that he will prosecute anybody sponsoring the killings in the communities.
He said: “There is no way Ezzas will say that they don’t know what is happening at Effium and there is no way Effium people will say that they don’t know what is happening in 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 rain 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 struggling for supremacy over 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”.