The very first step in finding a cure for every crisis in a society is to diagnose and investigate the root cause(s). The present crisis between the indigenous people of Effium and Ezza residents in Effium community in Ohaukwu Local government area of Ebonyi State is not in any way different. Beyond the emotional wrangling, sentimental outburst and social media rage expressed by the supporters of the two warring camps it is very much crucial to objectively assess the situation to dig out the truth about who exactly is to take the blame in this Effium crisis. Doing so will help to counter the false narratives that have been erroneously fed to the public.
While it is important to recognize the fact that there is an existing mistrust between the Effium indigenes and Ezza residents in Effium Community due to past incidents which occurred notably in 1998, 2002 and recently in 2016 and which had led to many deaths; the deliberate effort to isolate the root cause(s) of the present crisis from the past will help in revealing the shadows behind the present crisis.
Lets’ diagnose the present crisis in a chronological manner as narrated by a Public Affairs Analyst and Private Investigator- Sunny Ikechukwu Chukwu:
- The first sign of trouble started when the Honourable member (Ezza resident in Effium)- Chinedu Awoh representing Ohaukwu North State Constituency unilaterally announced the removal of the incumbent Ezza Effium Youth President, one Monday Nwankwo and replaced him with another of his boy Osondu Mgbada.
- After the imposition of Osondu Mgbada as Ezza-Effium Youth President, the new President in October 2020, launched brutal attacks on all opponents beginning from the said Nwankwo Monday (Ezza resident in Effium) who was beaten to coma to one Uchenna Abraham (Ezza resident in Effium) who was shot on the arm and finally another Monday Onele (Ezza resident in Effium) who was shot in the waist. The latter is still bedridden at FETHA 2 Abakaliki as at today.
- In November 2020, buoyed by failure in the previous investigations, Mr. Osondu Mgbada now upped his game by invading the National Union office at Effium Motor Park and drove away the members and illegally took over the place. Reports has it that the revenue generated from the Union has always been their original target from the onset. Also Hon. Chinedu Awoh (the Honourable representing Ohaukwu North Constituency) gave his full backing to this act.
- Recall that Nigeria experienced a national security challenge in the form of #ENDSARS Nationwide protest during the last quarter of 2020. Every Local Government made local arrangements to contain this challenge. In Ohaukwu, the Local Government Chairman-Barr Clement Odah (an Effium indigene) put in place what they called “Special Monitoring Team” which was headed by one Godwin Nwankwo (an Ezza resident in Effium) also called Nkwo Motors. On receiving the report of the crises in National Union office which was happening side by side ENDSARS, the Local Government Chairman directed the Chairman of the Monitoring Team to intervene and manage the office of the National Union and ensure peace and stability therein until normalcy returns. This special assignment was to last for a maximum of 2 months ending by December 31st, 2020.
- Eventually, normalcy returned back to the Park whereupon the Chairman on the request of the Union members, again directed Mr. Nkwor motors to step aside so the National Union members will resume their operations. However, instead of Mr. Nwankwo to heed this directive, he ran to the Honourable (Chinedu Awoh) who urged him to stay put.
- The Local Government Chairman on issuing his final directive to Nkwor went ahead to mandate the State Chairman of NURTW to take charge and organize his members in line with their Constitution. The State Chairman did his best to reach out to the appropriate offices at the state level but he was eventually coerced to submission when the Honourable man (Chinedu Awoh) called him to threaten that Mr. Nkwor Motors must remain Effium National Union Chairman by all means. This was the GENESIS of the trouble.
- Less than a month later, precisely on Friday the 22nd day of January, 2021 this same Nkwor Motors mobilized his fellow Ezza boys and launched a machete attack on another member of the Union, one Paul Elom (an Effium indigene) who is the elected secretary of the Union in Effium. Note that while Mr. Nkwor Motors is of Ezza tribe, while Mr. Paul Elom is of the Effium tribe.
- The relations of Mr. Paul Elom who could not bear the sight of their severely injured uncle, went on rampage in retaliation. Other youths from both Ezza and Effium speaking divides joined the fray and lo and behold, the whole Effium community caught fire. The result is what we have today.
SO FROM THE ACCOUNTS ABOVE WHO IS/ARE TO TAKE THE BLAME FOR CAUSING THIS UNFORTUNATE CRISIS IN EFFIUM?
- Hon. Chinedu Awoh, member representing Ohaukwu North State Constituency is the mastermind behind this present crisis in Effium and should take the chunk of the blame for his undue interference in the affairs of National Union and Motor Park issues in Effium. The constitutional roles and responsibilities of a legislator in Nigeria are law making, representation and oversight. Administration of motor parks is an exclusive affairs of local government authorities. Proper orientation should be given to public office-holders to enable them understand their roles, responsibilities and limitations; and to avoid violation of principles of separation of power in governance.
- Godwin Nwankwo (aka Nkwor Motors) is also to be blamed for reneging against the terms and conditions for setting up the Special Monitoring Team by the local government Chairman. Recall that the tenure of the Adhoc team was to elapse by December 31st 2020 upon which to handover to the National Union to continue their normal operation. But Mr. Nkwor instead of abiding by the rules went and conspired with Honourable member, threatened the National Union officers and reneged against the rules. By doing this, Nkwor Motors has demonstrated lack of integrity and utter violation of terms and conditions of the team as set up by the local government Chairman. Mr. Nkwor Motors is also the one that firstly introduced violence by allegedly mobilizing his boys and attacked Mr. Paul Elom- an elected Secretary of the Union with machete.
iii. Barr. Anselem Nwigwe (an Ezza resident in Effium), who is the State Chief Judge was seen in several occasions at the inception of the crisis making use of the State resources to promote ethnic bias against Effium indigenes. He used his security entourage severally to invade the houses of Effium indigenes and arrested the indigenous people, while none of his security entourage ever arrested any of the fellow Ezza residents that were causing the mayhem in Effium community. He was also seen using state resources within his disposal to evacuate his fellow Ezza residents in Effium and sent them relief materials while such magnanimity was not extended to Effium indigenes. His obvious biased attitude allegedly fueled the crisis at the onset because affected Effium indigenes felt that Ezza stakeholders were unjustly using their connections in government to wage war against them.
- Also the Ezza stakeholders in Effium under the umbrella of “Forum of Stakeholders of Effium Indigenes of Ezza-Ezekuna Extraction” which was quickly formed at the onset of the crisis was to be blamed. Their overnight demand to the State government to create an autonomous community in Effium land to be called “Ezza-Ezekuna” is the most unfortunate, and desperate attempt to reveal the fact that this crisis has been preplanned by the so-called Ezza stakeholders to create an opportunity for them to make such an unrealistic demand. This desperate move to create an autonomous community for the Ezzas in Effium even without the consultation of the indigenous people of Effium is the most hilarious one and exposed the heinous plan for the deliberate crisis by the Ezza tribe in Effium.
Therefore, if we are looking for whom to blame in this crisis, we now know them involved. If you think otherwise, please come with your FACTS and not SENTIMENTS.
Human Rights activist