Rights Group Condemns Killing Of Over 500 In Effium Crisis, Says Umahi’s Curfew Belated

The Human Rights Defenders (HURIDE), Ebonyi state chapter has condemned the continued waste of human lives in Effium community of Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi state following an avoidable war that ensued between Uffiom and Ezza indigenes of the community.

The Chairman of the group in Ebonyi State, Comrade Sampson oko Nweke made this known to newsmen in Abakaliki, Thursday 1st April 2021 He lamented that over 500 lives have so far perished and properties worth billions of Naira destroyed in the war which started on the 22nd day of January 2021. He described the new dust to dawn curfew by the state government as belated and ill-timed, noting that the order is coming after almost all lives have perished and villages burnt down.
Comrade Oko Nweke expressed “This war started on 22nd of January 2021 raising a lot of concerns both from within and outside the state. Reports from different quarters alleged that Ohaukwu local Government Chairman Chief Clement Odah an Uffiom man hired hundreds of militants from different states for the purpose of wiping off Ezza people from that part of the state. Since that January, there was never a day scores of innocent lives were not wasted. During this periods, Inikiri, Ebeta, Ugoeze, etc were destroyed, all of Ezza communities. What delayed the placement of the curfew?

“The governor constituted a peace committee which had sat for not less than four times. But each time the committee calls for a meeting to advocate for ceasefire, many villages will be sacked by the hired machineries. Why the delayed curfew imposition?

Tuesday 30th March 2021 was the mother of all attacks at Okporo, Azu Edene and Igbuduoke which were the only standing Ezza communities. There hired machineries allegedly sacked the whole communities, razing homes and killing people including babies, children, pregnant women, the aged and even the sick. It was few hours after the despicable Tuesday carnage that he saw the need to impose the curfew. Yes, the curfew placement is commendable but very belated and ill-timed”; Oko Nweke Continued.

“However, this morning, we got a reliable report that the Uffiom machineries are attacking Amewula Ezza community amidst the said curfew. They are still operating freely there as we talk, people are being killed and the 600 soldiers are no where around that place”Nweke worried.

We are calling on the state government never to relax the curfew but should do everything possible to strengthen it unbiasedly and holistically until relative peace completely returns in the community.

As this happens, the soldiers and police deployed to the area should be closely monitored and cautioned against compromise and against frustrating the government’s efforts in restoring peace in the troubled communities.
We also demand that the chairman of Ohaukwu LGA (Clement Odah) and the House of Assembly member from there(Chinedu Awoh) be probed, suspended and relieved of their offices. It is a an advisable step towards nipping this crisis in the bud.

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