The people of Ezza in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi state under the platform of Ezza Unity Forum (EUF) has condemned and rejected what they described as provocative statement and ethnic profiling of their people by governor Dave Umahi.
The Ezza Unity Forum was reacting to a statement allegedly credited to the Ebonyi state governor where he described Ezza people as “troublesome fighters or war mongers” as down rightly provocative.
In a statement released Tuesday and signed by the Umuezeoka, Ezza North LGA Chairman, Chief Williams Nweke, Ezza-Effium, Ohaukwu LGA), Secretary Mr. Cosmos Onele Nwagu, Oriuzor, Ezza North LGA, Financial Secretary, Mr. Uchenna Nwite, Ezzaegu, Ishielu LGA, Publicity Secretar, Elder Francis Alegu, Barr. Friday Nwigboji, Ezza South LGA, Legal Adviser, demanded an apology from the governor.
“That we view with utmost disappointment and disdain, the comments and allusions allegedly emanating from the Governor and Chief Security Officer of the Ebonyi State, Engr. David Nweze Umahi against prominent Ezza sons concerning the protracted communal crises in Effium, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the State which has claimed thousands of lives, (particularly of our Ezza indigenes) and caused several property worth huge millions to be severely damaged.
“The remarks allegedly credited to the number one citizen of Ebonyi State that Ezzas are troublesome fighters or war mongers is to say the least benumbing and downrightly provocative. Such ethnic profiling of our people stands rejected and highly condemned!
“It is a verifiable fact that great sons and daughters of Ezza Ezekuna wherever they may be found have been known for peace among their neighbours despite our ancestors being great warriors that fought and reclaimed ordinarily lost territories in ancient pasts. Our ancestors, being very peaceful have often established a covenant and an oath of peace and brotherhood that has always guided their relationship and co-existence with their neighbours even in the case of the troubled Effium.
“Our judgment and understanding of the implications, actions and even inactions of Governor Umahi as exhibited either directly by him or through his surrogates since the war broke out in January 2021 manifestly indicate the desperation of the government to continue to give tacit backing to the oppressors and killers of our people- the Uffiomites so as to use the crisis to launch attacks against anyone who they feel has any interest against that of the State Government be there economic, political or even religious and otherwise.
“This is proven right by the latest disclosure that an Ezza-born business mogul, Chief Chibuike Orogwu, popularly known as Baby Oku is the latest to be roped in as one of “the sponsors of Effium communal war” by Umahi. This is coming days after another Ezza son, writer and critic of the Umahi-led government, Mr. Monday Eze was declared “wanted” by the Governor for an unbiased and truthful expose on the incarceration of yet another Ezza-born Catholic priest, Reverend Father Timothy Ngwuta on trumped up allegations of sponsorship of the carnage in Effium. This is despite the fact that every material evidence points to the fact that the said priest merely embarked on a Corporal work of mercy as empowered by his religious role as a Priest.
“That with the preponderance of arrests, torture, intimidations, hounding and imprisonment of Ezza fathers, sons, mothers and daughters of Ezza indigenes even without concrete evidences against them by the Umahi administration since the communal unrest began over a year ago, the government has obviously declared an unholy and unprovoked “war of attrition” on the entire Ezza Ezekuna clan. Trying to shut down everything and every of our people by roping them into the Effium killings we believe is strongly being backed by the government and it’s agents is totally condemnable and unacceptable and we shall be left with no option than to deploy every lawful, legal and just means to defend and protect our people, their families and businesses from the many onslaughts of Umahi and his agents.”
While declaring that Ezza nation are peace-loving people, the statement said that despite media reports, security intelligence and investigations linking particular local government chairman to the crisis nothing was done to either thoroughly bring him or his group to book.
“The government was used to officially release from prison, 31 Uffiom youths who were dangerously armed and were about to attack an Ezza village in Effium. The government claimed without due investigations and proper cause of actions in line with known and established criminal laws in our land that they, being youngsters, were ‘deceived into carrying arms’ and then unilaterally and unconstitutionally granted them a State pardon through an official Executive Council Memo. What a biased, hateful and hurtful disposition by a government against a people whose only crime is that they are dexterous and survivalists anywhere they find themselves!
“Finally, we wish to call on the Governor to within 48 hours first and foremost apologize to the entire Ezza nation, our dearly beloved brother, Chief Orogwu over the very incendiary remarks and unfounded allegations he levelled against him as one of the “sponsors of Effium killings”, recant his declaration of Mr. Monday Eze as a “wanted person” and order the immediate and unconditional release of arrested Rev. Fr. Timothy Ngwuta from the prison.
“Governor Umahi should know that we are a very peace-loving people. But he must never take our meekness for a weakness!”
Senator Jibrin Isah Echocho gives out state of the art Solar panels to Kogi East
The senator representing Kogi East Senatorial district in the Red Chamber, Jibrin Isah (Echocho), has given out high-powered solar panel lights to some communities in his senatorial district.
The state of the art solar lights packaged with fluorescent bulbs illuminating that have long lasting life span is targeted at providing high level of visibility for security agents and local vigilantes to counter criminal activities carried out by men of the underworld especially at night.
One of the recipients of the solar lights in Abejukolo-Ife, Omala Local Government Area of Kogi state, Comrade Jerry Ochada, said the intervention by Senator Echocho is a welcome development.
Ochada further thanked the ranking Senator for his intervention while hinting that “in the coming days, the solar lights will be installed along Omala local government area (Secretariat Road) and some streets in Sabongari Area of Abejukolo”.
The Senator also gifted 36 solar powered lights each to the Okenyi community in Ankpa local government area, Dekina township; Etutuekpe community in Dekina local government and Ugwolawo township in Ofu local government area.
Senator Echocho promised to donate more lights to other Local Government Areas before the end of 2023.
Natasha doles out N300, 000 for installation of Ohueta/Ogidi Community Transformer
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate in Kogi Central, Barr. Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan has given N300,000 to Ohueta/Ogidi community in Okehi LGA to finance the installation of new transformer in the area.
The community has been experiencing total blackout for some months before the leaders of the community approached the PDP senatorial candidate to help in financing the installing of the new transformer for the people to enjoy the festive period.
Natasha in her philantropic disposition was eager to respond to the call by donating the money to end the days of blackout in the community.
The PDP senatorial candidate was represented by Director of Programs and Planning, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan Campaign Organization, Hon. Jacob Anebe who presented the money to the community leaders.
Anebe explained that the PDP senatorial candidate swiftly responded to the plea of the community leaders and donated the money to complete the installation of the new transformer for the residents of the community to enjoy the festive season.
He noted that Akpoti will continue to respond to the call of her people and do more when she gets to the Senate.
He further called on the people of Kogi Central to support and vote for Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan in the 2023 Kogi Central senatorial election to do more for the people of Kogi Central.
HOSTCOM applauds President Buhari for PIA
***asks for licence to operate modular refinery
Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for being the only Nigerian President that has actualized their dream by signing into law the Petroleum industry Act (PIA)
Paramount ruler of Nembe Kingdom Edmond Dakoru, spoke at the weekend during the official commissioning of the Abuja Liaison office of the HOSTCOM .
Speaking through his representative Erenghotie Ansley-Thomas Esq, he thanked the present administration for the (PIA), efforts of which he said previous administrations had frustrated.
“For a government to sign the PIA, which happens to be an improved version of what started in the past deserves our commendation. It takes the political will and commitment on the part of government and the drivers of that sector to be able to do that because several efforts have been frustrated several times”.
“For those who are not aware of how previous efforts were frustrated may not see what good we have received by the enactment into law of the PIA
Ansley-Thomas said the PIA has “principles set out for the protection of the environment, principles set out to address issues of Host Communities (HOSTCOM).
However, he expressed fear that any piece of legislation, no matter how well intentioned those who enacted it may be, until those saddled with the responsibility of operating it or giving expression to it come in tandem wit the spirit of the law, they may only be driving the letter, which could be compromised or sabotaged, as we have seen in so many cases.
“As much as we have a very robust legislation, it is important for HOSTCOM and other stakeholders to collaborate on how to enforce or tho insiststhe implementation of the PIA”.
On his part the National President of HOSTCOM His highness chief Benjamin Style Tamaranebi requested the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and the Health, Safety, Environment and Community of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and other relevant MDAs to use the earnest powers of their good offices to incorporate HOSTCOM’s budgetary provisions in their budgetary provisions by partnering with the Commission and Authority for Environmental intelligence gathering and data collation.
He also requested that HOSTCOM be provided with every project draft EIA to ensure the effective implementation of Sustainable Development processes.
He wants HOSTCOM to be allowed to monitor every project from Inception to commissioning.
Other demands are for HOSTCOM to be shortlisted in the NUPRC and NMDPRA protocollist.
The President also requested that HOSTCOM is given the opportunity participate and assist in providing environmental field
management plan from field to field basis as well as participate in ensuring building cryogenic plants on build, operate and own (BOO) basis in order to strategically end gas flaring.
He also wants payment of gas flare funds, and its remittance to be made to HCDT on project development and investment basis for Community sustainable development.
As an entity he also demanded that HOSTCOM be given license to operate modular refinery in the producing states to end illegal refining and crude oil theft and to have license to lift petroleum products for fairness and equity.
“The accomplishment of the aforementioned objectives will inevitably be the foundation that would overhaul the legacy mistakes to improved livelihood and socio-political and economic advancement of the Host Communities of Nigeria Producing oil and gas and citizenry of our great country.
“We are optimistic that the bounty of your benevolence knows no bounds and would be memorable in the annals of HOSTCOM history to the producing oil and gas States in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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