From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi has condemned the crisis that erupted in Akaeze in Ivo Local Government Area of the state which has led to the loss of lives.
Governor Umahi said those involved in the killings will be made to face the law irrespective of their positions in his government.
The governor spoke when he visited the community on Monday to assess the level of damage as a result of the violence on Sunday.
He also condemned the burning of Akaeze Police Station and houses of the Chairman of Ivo Local Government Area, Chief Onyebuchi Ogbadu, and those of other goverment personalities in the area
He directed the prompt arrest of those involved in the dastardly act as captured in the video which has been circulating on social media where axe-wielding persons were seen using the weapon to pierce the body of their victim who later died.
‘I feel so sad over the couple of incidences that happened in this place. In the first place, I condemn the viral video that was making round where somebody was using an axe on a fellow human being, my position is that life is sacred and all those people that did that, whether they are in government, whether they are Ebube Agu, whether they are stakeholders must be prosecuted immediately,’ he said.
‘There is no reason in this matter that should warrant anybody to take the law into their hands, at the end of time we are going to be accountable to God.
‘It is important to note that Ebube Agu is a security outfit backed by law and it will not be disbanded but any Ebube Agu member that violates the law will go in for it.
‘The law on Ebube Agu is very clear, just like there are bad elements in other security forces and within the society, there may be bad eggs in Ebube Agu but my position is that the bad eggs in Ebube Agu must be identified and removed. Ebube Agu is doing very beautiful work, they are helping the police, they are helping the Army, but we have a procedure, when you have the right within the limit of the law to arrest people, you have to hand them over to the Police immediately and it stops there, you are not even permitted to torture them not to talk of killing them but you have the right of self-defence and the evidence must be there and overwhelmingly and so what happened here did not make me happy.
‘Two wrongs must never make a right, the seven people that masterminded this must be arrested and prosecuted, I am not the governor of one party, I am the governor of all parties, and most importantly I am accountable to God.’
While directing the demobilisation of all gun-carrying non-security persons in the area, Governor Umahi also called for a step-up in security presence and surveillance to avert reoccurrence.
He called on Ebonyi youths to shun involvement in criminalities and embrace peace for orderliness in the society.
‘Let me warn all the youth to be very careful about taking laws into their hands, if they commit a murder case and it is before me, I will sign their execution,’ he stated.
The officer-in-charge of Akaeze Police Station, ASP John Okereke, while narrating the event of the burning down of the police station, said some of the perpetrators were hardened criminals who already had cases in the station.