Ebonyi Gov Fingers LG Chairman, Lawmaker As Masterminds Of Ezza/Effium Communal Crisis

The governor of Ebonyi State, Engr Dave Umahi, Monday, fingered the chairman of Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state, Barrister Clement Odah, and the member representing Ohaukwu north state constituency, Hon Chinedu Awo, as the people fueling the nagging communal crisis between Ezza-Effium and Effium in Ohaukwu LGA.

Aside the duo, Gov Umahi berated the irresponsiveness of the state commissioner for local government, Barr Samuel Okoronkwo, and his special assistant on parks development, Mr Emmanuel Igwe, for their inability to carry out their statutory roles aimed at nipping the feud in the bud. According to him, if Odah, Awo, Okoronkwo and Igwe had followed the guidelines given to them, the communal crisis would not have degenerated to its current stage.

Umahi, who spoke during the meeting of the stakeholders, said the number of the dead since the crisis began was 25. Aside the dead, Umahi said 26 arms had been recovered while 125 houses were burnt, including fuel and gas stations. He further revealed that funds were being contributed by ‘non-peace-loving people from both sides of the crisis’.

In his words, “There is no way Ezza people will say that they don’t know what is happening at Effium; there is no way Effium will say that they don’t know what is happening at 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 fifth 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 home, 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 we can 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 to 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. 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 the local government did not do his work. The SA parks did not do his work. If two of them did their work, the crisis wouldn’t have been because I directed that NURTW be dissolved, but they went and encouraged the 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 the minister of humanitarian services to come to our aid. I have written to NEMA to come to our aid.”