Ebonyi govt urges warring Effium, Ezza Effium to embrace peace
By Ruth Oginyi
The government of Ebonyi state Tuesday challenged the warring people of Effium and Ezza Effium communities in Ohaukwu local government area of the state to, within two weeks, consult with their people and bring a solution to the crisis in the area. He spoke to the people after meeting with stakeholders of the disputed community on Monday and Tuesday.
The government, in a press statement from the information commissioner, Barr Uchenna Orji, noted that further breakdown of law in the community would result to re-arrest of stakeholders of the community. He pleaded for peace among the community members.
The statement said, “In the determination of Ebonyi state government to end the needless crisis between the people of Effium and Ezza Effium in Ohaukwu local government area, the governor of Ebonyi state, Engr David Umahi, has been holding series of meetings with the stakeholders of both Effuim and Ezza Effium, intending to find a permanent solution to the dispute which both sides identified as communal, perennial and non-political.
“Aside from the separate meetings of key stakeholders of the state with key stakeholders the two communities, government on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 held a combined meeting of both parties with representatives of the state government, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Founding Fathers, Elders’ Council and leaders of Ezza nation who were observers in the meeting which held at the State Ecumenical Centre Abakaliki.
“The governor who, presided over the meeting, appealed to stakeholders of Effium and Ezza Effium to do everything possible to ensure that there is no more reprisal attack from any part of the community, noting that government shall hold the stakeholders responsible if there is any further break down of law and order in that community.
“The two sides of the dispute presented their positions on the immediate and remote causes of the crisis and their recommendations for immediate interventions and lasting peace.
“The governor directed them to go into a closed-door meeting by themselves to have a common ground in their recommendations and which they did with the supervision of representatives of Christian Association of Nigeria.
“As part of the outcome of their meeting, the stakeholders of Effium requested the state government to carry out land demarcation between them and Ezza Effium people as a last resort in the attainment of lasting peace in that community, while the stakeholders of Ezza Effium requested that they be allowed to live together with the people of Effium as had been the case before the misunderstanding that reared its ugly head.
“They, however, renewed their commitment towards stopping all forms of reprisal attacks forthwith and were bonded to keep the peace pending the final resolution of the matter.
“The governor gave them two weeks to consult with their people, including, the youths and women, within and outside the state so they can have a common ground that will enable the state government take a decision that will bring lasting peace and harmony among the people of Effium and Ezza Effium.
“The governor further set up a committee made up of one representative each from Effium and one from Ezza Effium with two CAN representatives to supervise their consultation processes, namely, Bishop Monday Nkwoegu as Chairman and Rev Dr. Scamb Nwokolo as Secretary. The committee is to bring its report within 14 days.