Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, on Thursday, ordered immediate arrest of his Deputy Chief of Staff, Prof Fidelis Okpata, and other political appointees who hail from the warring Ekpomaka and Inyimagu communities in Abakaliki and Ikwo council areas of the state.
Governor Umahi gave the order at an enlarged security meeting held at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Abakaliki, which had security chiefs and stakeholders from both council areas in attendance.
The governor directed the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Titus Lamorde, to arrest the appointees and stakeholders from the two warring communities and detain them until peace is restored.
The order, Daily Sun gathered, followed the persistent hostilities among the residents of the communities in which lives and property worth millions of naira were reportedly lost.
Disclosing this to newsmen, in a statement, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Emmanuel Uzor, who said his principal gave the order, did not disclose concrete reasons behind it.
Uzor quoted Governor Umahi as saying, “I am sad that there is still crisis in these communities despite the fact that we set up a committee in this state to look into the matter. We pleaded with the communities to ceasefire and await the outcome of the committee report but it does appear that they do not want to give peace a chance.
“I, therefore, order the Commissioner of Police to arrest all the stakeholders and political office holders from the communities. Without looking back, all of you in this Executive Council chamber are under arrest. I want the Commissioner of Police to detain you people until peace returns to the communities”, the statement partly read.
Recall that fresh hostilities broke out in both communities on the 25th of February and since then, lives and property have been reported lost which prompted the state government to set up a committee chaired by the first Vice President of the Ebonyi State Council of Traditional Rulers, Ezeogo Romanus Iyioku with Chief Felix Mgbada as secretary.