Ebonyi governor receives report on communal crisis
Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has received the report of the judicial panel set up to investigate the violent clashes in Effium Community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state.
In a brief remark during the presentation of the report, Mr Umahi said the government would meticulously study it for full implementation of the recommendations.
He commended the members of the panel for their “diligence and commitment” in executing the assignment.
The governor also restated the government’s commitment to the resettlement of victims of the crisis, whose houses and other valuables were destroyed during the crisis.
He said the administration had earmarked N100 million to build houses for the widows and indigent victims of the “unfortunate crisis”.
“It is a very complex situation and difficult even to start with the token of N100 million.
“All over the country the problem we have been having is our leaders.
“We are leaders and we do not think deeply about God bringing us to lead the people and to know that in a crisis of this nature, it is the less privileged, the old and the widow that are killed,” he said.
The governor promised to rebuild the Effium Market to a modern standard before the end of his administration.
“It is better to modernise it and if they want to destroy it let them go ahead. It is part of our campaign promises,” Mr Umahi said.
The governor subsequently handed over the report to the Deputy Governor of the state, Eric Kelechi-Igwe.
He urged him to raise a “small committee”, composed of legal experts drawn from the southern zone of the state, to study the report for effective implementation.
He also said the state would take responsibility for the logistics necessary for the panel to discharge its assignment.
Earlier, Elekwe Omaka, the chairman of the panel, thanked the governor for the trust reposed in the panel to do the job.
Mr Omaka said the panel, inaugurated on February 8, worked in accordance with the mandate given to it and in line with the terms of reference.
He said that part of the mandate was to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the crisis and proffer solutions to avert future occurrences.
He said the panel commenced public hearing on February 17 and received a total of 70 hard copies of written memoranda, while at least 40 persons gave oral testimony to the panel.
Mr Omaka said the panel, together with opinion leaders from Effium, Ezza-Effium and Eru-Effium, visited villages affected by the crisis for on-the-spot assessment.
Meanwhile, the governor swore in two new special assistants – Stella Nwagu, for Adult and Non formal Education, and Chris Uchaji for Exco Matters.
Also sworn in was Ozomena Njoku as commissioner for Solid Minerals.
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