Ebonyi killings: Umahi suspends all political appointees from Effium community
• Orders security agencies to shoot-at-sight anyone with arms, declare transport union wanted
Following the crisis that erupted in Effium community in Ohaukwu local government Area of Ebonyi State, last week, Governor David Umahi has suspended all political appointees from the area.
Umahi made this known on Monday at Central school, Effium when he visited the area.
He also urged the security agencies to shoot-at-sight anyone trying to violate the peace he established in the area.
He said: “I saw what was posted to our security agencies; men that are over 90 years stranded in a very thick forest? Is that what they were elected and appointed to do. Sometimes, people in government manipulate issues. 90% of the revenue of this state are in the hands of people. Some of them who are government officials will still go out to say the government is wicked, they are taxing us so much but this money doesn’t come to us.
“It is a shame, it is a shame. What shall we tell Effium and Ezza Effium that came together before most of us were born, what do we tell you? Look at the mothers, look at the children. When these gladiators were starting this fire, I am sure they knew how far it will go.
“All political appointments in the five wards of this place are hereby suspended, all the political appointees. I have no powers to suspend elected people but the House of Assembly does that and I am going to report to them.
“Attorney-General must procure court order. For anybody to be released in whatever condition, security agencies have to authorize it. There will be no release of the people I have arrested whether they are directly involved or not until there is absolute peace and the women will report to me. The women will come in their numbers; equal numbers from Effium and Ezza Effium, they will come and report to me and say there is peace.
“But any political appointee or elected, I am screening their phones. I have asked network providers for all their conversations. Any of them that is involved, will go to prison. We will prosecute the person in court. This is murder and arson, it is like a combination of COVID and cancer.
“I want to be quoted anywhere. If security agencies see any person with gun exchanging with security agencies here or trying to kill our defenceless mothers or fathers or children, that person should not live, the person should not leave. The rule of engagement is that if the person is trying to commit ordinary arson, you have to demobilize him. We have to send more security men to all the villages, we have to do that.
“The deputy governor will work with the Attorney General, the Principal Secretary, and the Chief of Staff to set up a judicial panel of inquiry into this crisis. They need to report to me their recommendations to set up this within the next three days. I am appealing to our mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters to return to their homes. We have a new Commissioner of Police and is like we have the same DNA, he has a passion for the people.
“The Director of Security Services, the Army, they are going to fill the entire place with security agencies from this night. Please return to your homes and my order is anybody with a gun, there should be shoot-at-sight, I can’t fold my hands and see mothers being killed and see innocent children and fathers being killed, I will not do that.
“It is better I am trying protecting my people than to allow this carnage to continue to happen. From today in Ebonyi State, if you are impersonating with guns and army uniforms, you are a terrorist and security should note this. If you are blocking the road, you are a terrorist.
“The garage is permanently sealed, vehicles are allowed to come and go freely; no charge of IGR for the meantime. The Ebonyi State Chairman of Transport union is declared wanted, he is declared wanted. Of course, all the people that started the crisis must be arrested. The curfew must continue in Effium.
“For the next two weeks, we are going nowhere. Security must be saturated in this place. Within two weeks, I will come back but my deputy will lead security peace every day, he will be coming here for the next two weeks,” he said.
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