Nigeria

Ebonyi governor orders arrest of council boss, lawmaker, others over lingering communal crisis

Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has pledged to abide by the peace pact he made with political opponents in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, has ordered for the immediate arrest of the Ohaukwu Council Chairman, Barr Clement Odah, and the Member representing Ohaukwu North State Constituency, Hon. Chinedu Awo over the lingering communal crisis between the people of Effium and Ezza-Effium in Effium Community of Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State.

Messrs Odah and Awo who hail from Effium community, are accused of being the masterminds of the crisis.

Umahi stressed that the two leaders should not be allowed to possess any phone or be treated with courtesy in the detention.

The Governor also ordered the arrest of the spokesperson of Effium clan, Dr. James Agina and the spokespersons of the Ezza-Effium, Mr. Titus Nworie.

Governor Umahi who gave the order on Monday during a security/reconciliatory meeting over the Effium lingering communal crisis held at Ecumenical centre, Abakaliki, said the vice chairman of Ohaukwu LGA should takeover the affairs of the council in acting capacity.

The Governor also announced the suspension of all political officer holders from Ezza-Effium who were not present during the meeting.

The crisis which started on January 22, 2021, has claimed hundreds of lives and property worth millions of naira destroyed.

Umahi said, “all the political office holders from Ezza-Effium who are not present should proceed on suspension without salaries. They should not be paid and if the March Salary has not been paid to them, it should be withheld as well.”

Umahi who expressed concern over a WhatsApp page created by the Member Representing Ezza South State Constituency, Hon Chris Uzulor, disclosed that the WhatsApp page was purportedly created to ask for relief in support of the victims and directed the Lawmaker to shutdown the WhatsApp page.

Similarly, Governor Umahi also ordered the arrest of some stakeholders of Abaomege and Isinkwo community following a renewed land dispute between the two communities.

Eight stakeholders who were present during a security meeting held by the Governor between the two communities at the old executive council chambers were subsequently arrested by the police.

Umahi further directed the Police Commissioner not to release any of the Stakeholders arrested until the people stopped shooting and demarcation of the disputed area carried out

He also called on the police to ensure that those who were not present must be fished out and detained, adding that if they were not fished out within two days from today, they must be declared wanted

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