Governor David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State has announced the outright suspension of all Civil Servants from Effium and Ezza Effium with effect immediate effect.
In a statement made available to IGBERE TV by the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Francis Nwaze said Governor Umahi announced the suspension during a Security summit held at the EXCO Chamber, Ocho Udo Centenary City, Abakaliki.
He said the suspension would take immediate effect until calm is fully returned to Effium and Ezza Effium.
“On Effium, the problem in Effium started as a political difference between the Local Government Chairman and the House of Assembly member in the quest of who controls the IGR of the State for their selfish gains. This unfortunate quarrel degenerated into full-blown crises which I am made to know has claimed over 100 lives.
“I, hereby, announce the suspension of all civil servants from Effium and Ezza Effium, the two Coordinators are removed and they are to return all Government property in their possessions, for the Ward Councillors and the Local Government Chairman and the House of Assembly member that started the squabbles, I would be meeting with the House of Assembly.
Governor Umahi who expressed concern over the security situation in Effium, charged Stakeholders of the two warring camps to wade in to avert impending consequences in the event of deterioration of the situation.
“In our ring road project, we have plans to transform the Effium market to a modern market, our ring road is about 198km, our Government has done over 45km, let me say it to Leaders of the Ezza Nation that many of the bandits come back to the ancestral home to hibernate, I wouldn’t want an operation in that area, I am appealing to our Stakeholders to take up this matter within seven days to avert grave consequences.”
The Governor warned that similar suspension would be slammed on Civil Servants and Political Officeholders from Abaomege and Ishinkwo should the situation not improve over there in the next seven days.
He commended the Founding Fathers led by Chief Martin Elechi, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the body of Bishops for convening the security summit and called for their continued support to restore normalcy to troubled spots in the State.
“I want to deeply suggest that this is the first of its kind and we have listened to the suggestions of our Founding Fathers, the CAN, and our Elders.
“Let me start by again and again thanking the Committee of Founding Fathers, the CAN, and the Bishops. In South East in particular, the issue of agitations did not start today, previous Governors like Dr. Sam Egwu and Chief Elechi experienced it in several proportions but never in this proportion but the problem is that our elders failed to speak up.
“When we set up the Committee of Ohaneze to go and ascertain the issue of marginalization, we Governors noted that agitations do not mean hate speeches or insulting the Governors and Leaders.”
The Governor called on States in the South East that were yet to sign Ebubeagu Security into Law to do so without further delay to provide local support to conventional security agencies in the fight against insecurity in the State.
“On Ebubeagu, the South West, they have their own Amotekun and our own is Ebubeagu, it is still similar to what we are doing here, we formed Ebubeagu under the Leadership of General Obi Umahi retired and it has been signed into Law, Imo was the first to sign then, Ebonyi signed.
“We have prosecuted two Ebubeagu personnel, Ebubeagu is not saints, Police are not Saints, Army is not Saints, these people have done quite a lot in defense of Ebonyi State and its Citizens, if you have any report of infractions against Ebubeagu, you immediately report them, but they are doing very well and they have to be commended and Ebubeagu has come to stay.
“We were formerly confronted with marijuana but we are today confronted by Mkpurumiri, on the issue of IPOB, I want to thank the CAN, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, it is currently being handled, I believe we should not allow what happened earlier to happen again where some people were killing our people and killing security agencies.
“In Ebonyi State, we have requested that all these our youths that were brainwashed and made to join these groups, that they should come up and be profiled for empowerment to reintegrate into the society.”
He reminded the Stakeholders and indeed all Ebonyians that the State’s law on fake news remains in force and would deal decisively with defaulters.
“There is fake news law in Ebonyi State and I want to let our Founding Fathers, the Traditional Rulers to know that we have a law on fake news in Ebonyi State and we will not hesitate to prosecute anybody who contravenes the Law.
The former Governor of the State and Chairman of Ebonyi Founding Fathers’ Forum, Chief Martin Elechi appealed to agitators to exhaust frontiers of dialogue for redress to their demands instead of taking laws into their hands.
While calling on the Government to consider strengthening the Ebubeagu Security outfit requested collaboration with Founding Fathers and CAN to checkmate the perceived excesses of the security outfit. He appealed to Council Chairmen to play a prominent role in the security of the State by the establishment of vigilantes where they do exist to provide security surveillance of the rural areas.
“Your Excellency, listening to you gives us courage, gives us strength, we said despite the roles played by Ebubeagu, there are some areas of concern that we may need to discuss with you.
“We also recommend that we should be more prayerful, prayer is the key. We will notice where we have gone wrong and improve on that, with prayer we will succeed.”
Chief Elechi also called for periodic hosting of the security summit to keep issues capable of triggering a crisis in check.
The Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, South East Zone, Reverend Father Abraham Nwali called for collaboration of all stakeholders for optimum security of the region.
“Your Excellency, by way of reaction is to thank you for granting us the opportunity to attend this security summit for there is a dictum that no one is secure until all is secure and the security of one is the security of all.
Reverend Father Nwali said the security summit was convened to clear all grey areas, strengthen the security apparatus to forestall the upsurge of crisis during the forthcoming yuletide.
He said CAN has adequately engaged the agitators to ascertain their grievances for redress to restore orderliness in the Zone.
“There is so much increase in the use of dangerous substances, there is so much increase in the use of alcohol and there is an increase in the use of a chemical called Mkpurumiri.
“We have to go down to the grassroots, there is the need to fall back to our Traditional Rulers because they are the custodians of culture and traditions.
“The only thing we are requesting about Ebubeagu is that they have to pass through periodic training, so they need to have from time to time training. Engage the Security Chiefs to continue to train our Ebubeagu, we also plead Your Excellency that this security summit be stepped down to the Local Government Areas, mandate the Council Chairmen, Development Centre Coordinators to conven the security summit to strengthen the security of their areas.”
The CAN Chairman attributed the insecurity in the South East and Nigeria at large to consumption of intoxicating substances by the youths amid growing economic conditions.
In a remark, the State Deputy Governor Dr Kelechi Igwe thanked the Founding Fathers, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN and the body of Bishops for convening the security summit and prayed God to grant them their aspirations of achieving a peaceful Ebonyi State.