•Approved 40m to affected bouseholds of Egedegede and Umuogudu Akpu to help cushion effects of their losses
•Assured Effium people of government determination to come to their aid
The Governor of Ebonyi State, Engineer David Nweze Umahi has condoled the people of Umugadu in Umuogudu Akpu Mgbo, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the State who were attacked by suspected people of neighboring Agila in Benue State over agelong land dispute last week.
The Governor conveyed the condolence of his administration when he embarked on a visit to the area to personally ascertain the level of carnages during the incident.
The Governor who expressed sadness over the unfortunate incident of the attack observed that the precarious situation in the Country calls for Internal protection against external aggression.
“I feel so sad, when I learned of this, my spirit went down so low how life no longer means much in our country again. It is so sad that people will be sleeping in their houses and others will come and kill them for what they know nothing about.
“Our Security outfit is already in place, I directed a lot of them to be posted to this place, all that is remaining of Ebubeagu is for us to launch it at the Zonal level and to have our security gadgets there. Everybody will be protected when we make up our minds to protect ourselves, I have done everything possible for Agila people to live peacefully with us even when I was the Deputy Governor, every time they will be the one to attack us”.
He announced the donation of the sum of twenty million naira to the Community to assist families of those who lost their lives in the incident and maintained that the Government would not fold its hands and watch the citizens being killed wantonly by bandits.
The Governor, while also directing the formation of a vigilante in Egedegede in Ishielu Local Government Area recently attacked by herdsmen also approved the sum of twenty million naira to the community as a consolation to families of victims of the attack.
“We have a law in South East and in Ebonyi State in particular that there will not be movement of cattle from one point to the other. I am going to support you to immediately form a formidable vigilante and I want it to be people-oriented”.
The Governor while reiterating that the South East and Ebonyi State have banned open grazing in the area, charged Council Chairmen to enforce the grazing law in their areas using the local vigilantes.
“If anybody is trying to destroy our crops, you must stop him with a proportionate means upon which he is trying to destroy the crops, if somebody is killing cows of herdsmen you must stop him with a proportionate means upon which he is killing the cows and no herdsmen with AK-47 is allowed in the land of Ebonyi, Mr. President has said it and I am saying it also, such people must be demobilized by all means, you can’t carry AK47 to our land, it is an affront, it is an insult and it is not allowed, we must stop them, enough is enough”.
Earlier while presenting an address on behalf of the Community, Senator Anthony Agbo said twelve lives were lost while 56 houses were burnt by the attackers and appealed for Financial and humanitarian assistance from the Government to enable them to resettle.
In a related development, Governor David Umahi has called on the people of Effium and Ezza Effium to call a truce and embrace peace to enable Government assist them to resettle.
The Governor made the call when he visited the troubled area on Tuesday.
He informed the natives that their leaders have agreed to a ceasefire and appealed to them to recall their warriors from the bushes.
“We came to inform our fathers and mothers that we have discussed with your leaders in Abakaliki and they have agreed that there will be peace in Effium and they have agreed to recall your warriors from the bushes. So we appeal to you to embrace peace, we have relief materials for you but we can not give you if the war persists, if you embrace peace, we will come and assist you and the Federal Government will also come and assist you”
The Governor informed the people that the Government was willing to assist them to resettle but they should at the first stop the crisis to provide the opportunity for the rebuilding process.
He warned that Government would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute all stakeholders in the event of further breakdown of law and order in the area.
Governor Umahi enjoined women to discourage further bloodletting in order not to impose a curse on their future generations.
The Governor was accompanied on the visits by heads of Security Agencies, members of the State Executive Council among others.