An Enugu State-based human right activist, Emmanuel Acha, has alleged that the current Effium/ Ezza -Effium intra communal war in Ohaukwu Local government area of Ebonyi State was a manifestation of Ezza people’s agenda to eliminate the Effium aborigines in the community.
The allegation was contained In a press statement by Acha, made available to newsmen in Abakaliki on Saturday.
Acha, in the statement described the war as a grand conspiracy to wipe from the face of the earth the people of Effium by the Ezzas residents in their land.
He maintained that available records indicated that the Ezzas resident in Effium land had perfected plans to annihilate the Effium people and take over their God-given land, adding that there were such similar carnages notable
in Effium when the indigenous people of Effium were massacred by the Ezza residents in 1998,
2002 and in 2016 before the present one which could be described as the mother of the intra-communal war.
Acha further debunked the information that the war was caused by mere crisis within the National Union of Road Transport Workers over the motor park in the area, and alleged that state government actors cannot feign ignorance of the remote cause.
The statement reads, “Since the outbreak of the current hostility
between the people of Effium and Ezza-Effium in Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi State, fact, rumour and propaganda have filtered into various media space, especially the social media. Some of them are quite educative. But so many are misleading with the sole aim to ensure the continuity of the war targeted at indigenous Effium people.
“In the event of the crisis, a lot of reasons have been adduced for the recent crisis in Effium and a lot of sentiments have been wiped by the parties involved in defence. Moreover, a segment of the public believes that the current hostility between the people of Effium and Ezza residents was caused by the crisis that rocked the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Effium. But it is far from it.
“And when you talk about the crisis that ensued among the NURTW, the two characters that come into play is the Executive Chairman of Ohaukwu local government area and the member of Ebonyi State House ofnAssembly, Hon. Barr. Clement Omekannaya Odah and Hon. Awo Chinedu.
“But it becomes very disturbing that a legislator who is supposed to concern himself with the art of law making should be interested in
markets and revenue generation. Therefore, if at all it was the crisis in the Effium Park that led into the current planned ethnic cleansing, the government cannot feign ignorance of the Effium and
“If the government led by Governor Umahi did not learn
and take proactive steps to checkmate legislative rascality, God forbids such crisis is bond to erupt elsewhere in the state.
“The NURTW imbroglio is just a scapegoat used by the Ezzas resident in Effium just as they did during the Ezzillo and Ezza/Ezzillo war which they attributed to the establishment of a call center at the Ezzillo market. It has been the ploy of the Ezza people anywhere to hinge their reason for war on flimsy excuse. We call the general public to jettison the reason that it was the NURTW crisis that snowballed into the war in Effium.
“Should it be that it is the crisis in the NURTW that was responsible for the war in Effium, there would not have been the call by the people of Ezza calling for the change of the name of the Effium autonomous community to Ezza Egu, Ezza Ohaukwu and so on. It points to the fact that the Ezza residents in Effium had conspired among themselves to eliminate the people of Effium. But God forbids.
“The plan for this war started when the Ezza youth leadership crisis commenced sometime last year in June. One Monday Nwankwo who was the President of Ezza youths in Effium was forcefully removed by a group led by the member of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Hon. Chinedu Awo.
“It is these youths recognized by Hon. Chinedu Awo that carried out shootings in the Effium market and around Effium community. They were the one that attacked and injured Monday Nwankwo, Abraham Uchenna and
Onele Monday who is bedridden. The youths are led by one Osondu Mgbada and Eze Biggy among others. Since then, Effium community had known no peace.
“It is also the same members of the youths loyal to the legislators that were employed by one Godwin Nwnakwo (aka Nkwo motors) the erstwhile caretaker chairman of the Effium branch of the NURTW to attack the secretary, Paul Elom. The reprisal attack from the relatives of Paul Elom resulted in the war experienced today in the once peaceful Effium autonomous community.
“The records are very clear that the Ezzas Effium have perfected plans to eliminate the people of Effium from their God-given land. There was such similar carnage notable in Effium when the indigenous people of
Effium were massacred in 1998, 2002 and in 2016 before the mother of the intra-communal war 2021.
“There is a grand conspiracy to wipe from the face of the earth the people of Effium by the Ezzas residents in Effium. The manner and strategy at which the people of Ezza residents in Effium executed the recent war is a clear pointer to the fact that they had deliberately and carefully planned the current pogrom against their landlord.”
Recall that the Effium/Ezza Effium intra communal war which has lasted about a month and still rages, has witnessed the killing of scores of people with many public and private property destroyed in the area.
Abakaliki town has been flooded with people from the area seeking refuge.
Meanwhile State government has continued to assure that it was on top of the situation.