A good governance and accountability group, Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) has raised an alarm that the Ebonyi state governor Engr. David Umahi, has wrongly accused and trying to link its President, Ambassador Pascal Oluchchukwu, to the recent crisis in Effium community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state.
The group described the development as “embarrassing, disdainful and threatening disposition to Oluchukwu by the Governor of Ebonyi state.
AESID said the governor had in a phone call recently accused Oluchchukwu of being one of the masterminds of attacks which led to the death of some Police officers on investigation duty in the war-torn Effium community.
A statement signed Friday in Abuja by the Secretary of the organisation Barr. Nnamdi Imeze, AESID demanded “an unreserved apology from Governor Umahi within 24 hours and withdraws all the threats, accusations and deeply insulting vituperations he made against our leader, Ambassador Oluchukwu.”
The organisation said following the recent abduction of some construction workers on duty at the Effium section of the Abakaliki ring road and their reported killing by their captors, the Ebonyi state government had dispatched a team of officers from the anti-kidnapping unit of the State’s Police Command who went in search of the victims before they were reportedly ambushed by armed gunmen who shot, killed and also abducted some of the uniformed men.
“We brutally condemn the recent incidents of renewed attacks and hostilities in Effium since the war between the Effium aborigines of Korri extraction and the their Ezza brothers both of who have always lived in peace and harmony till the recent politically-motivated killings over alleged control of a motor park.
“However, AESID is perturbed by the weighty allegations without any iota of credible proof or substance against our leader, Ambassador Paschal Oluchukwu who was recently put on a rather strange call by the Governor, accusing him of being one of the sponsors of the fighter warriors accused of perpetrating the recent attacks on Police men on duty. Governor Umahi is on record as having specifically threatened to petition our revered leader to the Buhari Presidency as a sponsor of the Effium crises.
“This does not only sound strange to us but a surprising case of attempting to give a dog a bad image in order to hang it!
We would consequently wish to raise some few very germane posers and concerns for the Umahi-led administration which AESID believes has failed to better manage the Effium crises with a view to bringing a reasonably enduring solution:
“Since this ugly carnage started in January 22, 2021, what really can the Umahi government boast of doing to bring peace? We recall that AESID, just like some other platforms had long called for the removal from office of the Local Government Chairman and other political office holders from the area who has been severally accused of using public funds to hire arms and mercenaries to sustain the tempo of the killings. About 11 months down the line, Odaa and other suspected masterminds of the killings have rather remained not only in office, but still calling the shots on happenings in the now deserted Effium community.
“What has the panels set up by the State government accomplished thus far that is known to Ebonyians? Why is it taking nearly eternity for Umahi to be pragmatic in bringing an enduring solution to the crises? Does his biddable posture since the beginning of the crisis not validate claims in certain quarters that his administration is rather fertilizing or giving tacit endorsements to the crisis for some yet-to-be-uncovered political reasons?
“With thousands successfully displaced from their homes and many still taking shelters in his newly-built Round-Abouts at Ezzamgbo, Abakaliki in the residences of some deeply concerned friends, well-wishers and relatives in various parts of the State, what succour has the Umahi administration really given these distraught victims? Or are there no longer humanitarian and disaster management agencies in the State and at the federal level?
“Why is it difficult for the Umahi government to take bold steps towards sincerely reaching out to all parties involved in the conflict and rebuilding the destroyed homes, farmlands and other properties worth billions of naira that have been damaged in Effium?
“What also happened to the army of security personnel which Umahi claimed on National Televisions to have dispatched to the area to restore peace?”
While condemning the phone threat allegedly made by the governor, AESID said without publicity, Oluchukwu had donated cash and other resources to the affected communities.
“He has as a matter of fact been deeply concerned by the crises that he has given several other supports to the victims and their relatives all buoyed by his very passionate disposition for the plights of Ebonyi people anywhere in the world.
“Same should be widely and reasonably publicized in various Nigerian media outlets and copied the various offices he may have contacted or plan to contact for the purposes of accomplishing his voiced evil machinations, which is not only record but being carefully studied by our team of local and international legal experts.
“Failure to do so as demanded within the stated period, AESID vows to make a formal petition against his office and person which would culminate into a proper litigation before some reputable national and international human rights and social justice agencies. Even when he leaves office, we shall stringently demand that he proves his sneering allegations against our leader before the International Criminal Court, ICC, Amnesty International and other justice agencies of repute.”