From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, yesterday, condemned the crisis that erupted in Akaeze, Ivo Local Government Area of the state, which has led to loss of lives.
Umahi, who condemned the incident, 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 to assess the level of damage as a result of the violence on Sunday.
He also condemned the burning of the 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 the social media, where ax-wielding persons were seen using the weapon to hack the body of their victims, who later died.
He said: “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 Ebubeagu, whether they are stakeholders must be prosecuted immediately.
“There is no reason in this matter that should warrant anybody to take law into their hands, at the end of time we are going to be accountable to God.
“It is important to note that Ebubeagu is a security outfit backed by law and it will not be disbanded but any Ebubeagu member that violates the law will go in for it.
“The law on Ebubeagu is very clear, just like there are bad elements in other security forces and within the society, there may be bad eggs in Ebubeagu but my position is that the bad eggs in Ebubeagu must be identified and removed. Ebubeagu 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-defense 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 demobilization of all gun-carrying non-security persons in the area, 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.”
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.