The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) said it is alarmed by the persistent killings ongoing in Effium community, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state, calling on the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene and put an end to it.
The Ebonyi indigenes said The “senseless attacks on defenceless citizens” have claimed hundreds of lives and led to loss of several properties worth millions of naira since January 22nd 2021, when the first incident was reported.
In a statement released Thursday in Abuja by the AESID President, Amb. Paschal Oluchukwu, condemned what he described as buck-passing by the state government while innocent lives, particularly those of Ezza origins.
“We vehemently condemn Wednesday’s slaughtering of scores of Ezza fathers, mothers, sons and daughters including the setting ablaze of many homes by the hired fighting militia men.
“The sad incident could have been averted if the government has ever lived up to its responsibility of protecting lives and properties.
“AESID is deeply saddened that under the present Umahi administration, the lives of Ebonyians are as worthless as a tissue paper.
“We recall advising the state government in January on the urgent and genuine steps it must take to tackle and resolve this crisis tracing it back to the actual root of the conflict. Two months after, the Umahi government obviously seem to have taken sides with those they consider the enemies of Ezza nation like it was the case of Ezillo in 2010 in perfecting what we may call it’s ‘secret war against the majority and dominant clan’ in Ebonyi state- the Ezza nation. We may be right if we conclude that this is part of the politics and mind games ahead of the 2023 elections in the Salt of the nation.”
According to the statement, AESID is generally concerned that the level of widespread insecurity and growing apprehension that has hit Ebonyi state under Umahi’s leadership as the Chief Security Officer of the state is very alarming and quite pathetic that our once peaceful state could almost be compared to Zamfara and other Northern states held hostage by bandits and terrorists.
“We are duty-bound to reflect that when these violent killings that have led to the death of hundreds of many unarmed and harmless Ezza natives who were completely taken unawares started, the first impression the Governor gave was that it was a mere fight between two factions over who controls Effium motor park. But investigations have revealed contrary.”
Oluchukwu said a petition was made to authorities concerned to the effect and Governor Umahi was copied.
“We further write to inform and remind you that the over 15, 000 natives of Ezza nation who have remained displaced as a result of this crisis that has persisted without media reportage are still stranded in different parts of the state without any succour and or support from your inhuman administration while those who have nowhere to run to are being secretly murdered.
“AESID as Ebonyi’s leading governance and accountability platform warns the Ezzas are not cowards. The people should therefore not be blamed the day they rise up to defend themselves and their lands. After all, Ebonyi belongs to all of us. We think and rightly, too that they should not be pushed to extremity of the wall as they would be compelled to resist same and fight back.
“It is further our view that Governor Umahi already knows that the simple solution to this porblem is to order the arrest and uncompromising trial of the said Clement Odaah and keep him behind bars without any form of communication with his ‘local and hired warlords’ who should themselves also be arrested and duly tried.
“We wonder what is so difficult about taking this simple step to end the crises as the Chief Security Officer of the State if not that some powerful persons in government may be behind the carnage.
“AESID makes no hesitation to invite the Federal Government and all its agencies to uncompromisingly wade into this matter in order to nip this crisis in the bud.”