Gov. Umahi orders security operatives to shoot at sight - Ebonyi Communal Crisis
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
Ebonyi State governor, Chief David Umahi has directed the Nigeria Police, Army and other security agencies in the state to shoot at sight anyone who tries to kill any Ebonyian within and outside Ebonyi communities.
Umahi made this known while addressing the state security chiefs, the Police, Army, DSS, Immigration, Prisons, Civil Defence, FRSC and Chairmen of LGA’s
during in an enlarged security meeting at the government house Abakaliki.
The governor, gave the directive in a thirteen points communique signed by the secretary to the Ebonyi state government, Mr. Kenneth Ugbala and forwarded to Press in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital.
Recall that two communities in the state, Ohankwu and Amana has for over 50 years engaged in communal clashes over ownership of a lucrative mining site in the area.
The communal clashes has over the years resulted in loss of many lives and properties worth millions of Naira.
The two communities have continued to contest who should benefit or be compensated by investors currently mining the site.
Press gathered that youths of the two communities recently engaged in a shoot out and prevented security agencies from gaining access to the location.
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Following the recent violent clashes by youths of both communities, Governor Umahi called for a peace meeting where resolutions were reached and a communique passed.
The communique reads: “That 150 youths drawn from Ikwo LGA, Ezza South LGA and Abakaliki LGA are hereby deployed under a joint security taskforce of the police – The Army, SSS, Civil Defence and any other security force as may want to incorporate in the joint security taskforce.
“The Governor has directed the security agencies to shoot at sight and possibly shoot to kill anyone who tries to kill any Ebonyian within and outside this location.
“Government warns that she will not fold her hands and see any Ebonyia killed in any part of the state or even outside the state.
“Ebonyi State Government thanked the security agencies for their massive deployment to the troubled location and would wish to assure the good people of Ohankwu and Amana to go about their normal businesses in a very peaceful and enterprising form as their lives and properties are fully secured by the Government under the leadership of Gov. David Umahi” he said.
The governor also revoked all licences belonging to all miners operating at Ohankwu and Amana communities of Ikwo and Ezza south local government areas of Ebonyi state.
The revocation of licenses followed the lingering crisis between Ohankwu and Amana communities which had resulted in the loss of lives and destruction of properties worth millions of Naira.
He said “All mining sites in Ohankwu and Amana communities are stopped with immediate effect.
“That all license for mining in the affected communities are hereby revoked; the right and license of the miners are revoked immediately as the license holders are fingered to be part of the instigators of the crisis.
“By the law of the state, the two mining sites in Ohankwu and Amana, between the stream are hereby revoked and taken over by Ebonyi State Government in accordance with our peace law.
“Government directs that no one is allowed to enter the said land, either for Agriculture, Mining or for any other purpose”.
Umahi, however inaugurated a committee headed by the Chairman of CAN, Ebonyi State chapter, Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali to negotiate a peace settlement between the two communities within 30 days.
“The committee will include both Council Chairmen of Ezza South and Ikwo LGA’s, the Youth Leaders of Ohankwu and Amana and the committee and has 30 days to give the state government the true ownership of the land before government took over the ownership.
“The peace committee shall interview the leaders of Ikwo LGA, Leaders of Ezza South LGA and specifically, leaders of Amana and Ohankwu elders.
“Both communities shall submit documents that can justify their claims before the acquisition was done by government.
“Government warns that all miners who caused this trouble must be arrested within seven days and arraigned in court by the Attorney General of the State in accordance with the laws of the state for bleach of public peace” he stated
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