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Umahi orders arrests, suspends political appointees over communal clashes



EBONYI State Governor, David Umahi, has ordered the immediate suspension of all political office holders from Ezza Effium and Effium, who were absent during a security meeting conveyed to find a permanent solution to the lingering crises in the area.

  The governor also directed the immediate arrest of the chairman of Ohaukwu Local Government Area, Chief Clement Odah and the Member, representing Ohaukwu South Constituency in the state Assembly, Mr Chinedu Awo and two spokespersons of the two communities until peace returns to the area.

  Governor Umahi gave the directives on Monday, during a security meeting at the Christian Ecumenical Centre, Abakaliki.

  Umahi expressed sadness over the ongoing war that resulted in shedding of blood and burning down of property worth millions, and blamed stakeholders of the communities for fanning the embers of crises.

  He said “I would not fold my hands and watch innocent people die in droves due to the ongoing war as i abhor blood shedding.”

  Anybody who is not a security person that is found with gun, must be demobilised by all means. Those that are calling for war, I will root them out.

  “It is on note that leaders from both sides are the ones instigating the killings, crises and burning of houses.

  “All political appointees that are absent in this security meeting are hereby suspended from office including the retired permanent secretary.

  While wondering why people would take pleasure in bloodletting, Governor Umahi appealed to the stakeholders to support the government to nip the violence in the bud.

  Similarly, the governor met with the people and stakeholders of Abaomege and Ishinko communities in Onicha Local Government Area with a view to resolving the intractable crises.

  During the meeting held at the Exco Chambers of the Old Government House, Abakaliki, Governor Umahi experessed displeasure over the unfortunate incident of blood bath in the area.

  He ordered the arrest of eight stakeholders fingered to be promoting the crises pending when proper demarcation of the disputed land takes place and peace returns.

  It would be recalled that the government had severally engaged stakeholders of the warring communities in talks with a view to restoring peace to the communities with several peace pact already signed to no avail.

  The Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Religious and Welfare Matters, Reverend Father Abraham Nwali was charged to interphase with critical stakeholders to effect proper demarcation of the boundary under contention.

  Earlier, Fr Nwali traced the cause of the resurgence of the hostilities to harvest activities on the disputed land prompting the governor to direct immediate cessation of harvest activities on the land until proper security measures were taken for comprehensive harvest within a stipulated time.

  “From today, nobody should enter to harvest anything in the land. We are going to saturate the forest with police and SSS and the harvest takes place within two to three days.

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