Effium crisis: Ebonyi Government inaugurates panel of inquiry
By Ruth Oginyi
Government of Ebonyi state, Monday, inaugurated Judicial panel of inquiry into the crisis that broke out in Effium autonomous community Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi state between the people of Effium and Ezza Effium in the area.
The panel which has Justice Omaka Elekwa as chairman, Barr. Gilbert Okorie Secretary, Eze Chukwu Agwu, Rev. Fr. Moses Ogudu, Rev. Fr. Okoro Agha, Barr. Mrs. Nkem Chukwu, HRH Ezeogo Azu Ewah as members were given the mandate to determine the remote and immediate causes of carnage in the community.
The people of Effium and Ezza Effium have been at war for two weeks with many lives lost and properties destroyed.
Inaugurating the panel, in Abakaliki, the Deputy governor of the state, Dr. Kelechi Igwe said the panel is expected to submit its report in six days.
He explained that security agents have been deployed to the community to prevent further breakdown of law and order by the hoodlums.
Igwe said “In the choice of the membership of this commission, your track record and integrity were considered and your impartiality conduct was also very paramount in choosing you as member of this commission.
“You are already aware that crisis erupted in Effium a couple of weeks ago and the state government has taken very deep steps in ensuring that peace and normalcy return to the place.
“Government went out of its way to procure some relief materials to assuage the pains of those who were rendered destitute in that community. The distribution of that materials will soon commence as soon as the indigenes of that community begin to return home.
“However, I am also aware that His Excellency the Governor has directed the Commissioner for Human Capital Development to make other procurements and begin to visit these people who are rendered homeless and temporarily made to become destitute in their land wherever they are hibernating; some of them are in churches, some are in schools, some are in houses of relations and those who are kind enough to accommodate them. The government feels it is necessary to reach out to them while they are in all these hibernations pending the time they will finally return to their land.
“You are to determine the remote and immediate causes of the crisis that led to the loss of lives and destruction properties of properties in Effium and Ezza Effium in Ohaukwu local government. You are also to determine the extent of damage to the properties and loss of lives. You are to determine those directly or indirectly involved in the mayhem and apportion blames appropriately as you deemed fit. You are also to recommend measures and means to be taken by the government to restore normalcy and forestall further occurrence of the ugly incident.
“As Chairman and members of this commission, you are already aware of the importance of this commission. We have deployed police and other security apparatus to the community to secure the lives and livelihoods that are remaining. The essence of doing this is to ensure that you have a tranquil atmosphere to do your job without fear or favour”.