From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State yesterday directed his deputy, Kelechi Igwe, and the Attorney General of the state, Cletus Ofoke, to immediately set up a judicial panel of inquiry to look into the remote and immediate causes of the unrest in Effium community in Ohaukwu local government area of the state.
He gave the directive while addressing the people of Effium community at Effium Central School, Effium.
Last Saturday, violent clashes erupted at Effium Park, which snowballed into intra-communal war between the Ezza-Effium and the Effium people.
The crisis has led to the killing of over 40 persons and destruction of homes, vehicles, filling stations, shops and other valuables.
Addressing the warring communities yesterday, Umahi decried the killings and destruction of lives and property, and called for peace and unity among the people.
He announced the suspension of all political appointees from Ezza-Effium and Effium clans, saying they would be remain suspended until peace returns in the community.
The governor also directed the Commissioner of Police in the state not to release the Chairman of Ohaukwu local government area, Clement Odah; the member representing Ohaukwu North, Chinedu Awo; and 30 other stakeholders from the community who were arrested on Sunday, until absolute peace returns in the community.
The governor also announced the dissolution of all leadership at Effium Motor Park as well as all youth groups existing in the community.
He enjoined all the leaders of the warring clans to submit themselves to all the peace processes to be coordinated by the Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe, to ensure speedy return of peace in the community.
He said: “There is no reason to justify killing your selves and destroying your property. This is unacceptable and unjustifiable. We are complaining of lack of adequate funds to take up our developmental needs and you are destroying the ones in your community. Government will not be replacing any infrastructure destroyed in the cause of this crisis.
“Let me announce that all political appointees from Ezza -Effium and Effium are hereby suspended until absolute peace returns. I have directed the deputy governor and the attorney general to set up judicial panel of inquiry to look into the crisis and make recommendations to us.”