By Our Reporter
The Association of Effium Indigenes International (ASSEI) has called on Ebonyi government to make public the report of the commission of inquiry set up to investigate the Effium-Ezza crisis in the state.
The President of the group, Mr Emmanuel Acha made the call on Wednesday in a statement made available to newsmen in Enugu.
Recall that Gov. Dave Umuahi had following the Effium-Ezza communal crisis that led to the loss of lives and destruction of property worth billions of naira, set up a judicial commission of inquiry in February 2021.
The commission was mandated to determine the extent of the damage and to identify those, directly and indirectly involved in the crisis.
The commission was also required to recommend measures to be taken by the government to restore normalcy and forestall a reoccurrence of the crisis.
It was given 30 days to submit its report.
However, Acha said that it was worrisome that the state government had yet to act on whatever recommendations made by the commission.
He said that the prevailing circumstance had given rise to speculations that the state government had deliberately jettisoned the report in order to adopt sentiments and politics of conspiracy with the Ezza people.
The president said that such speculations were rife as the state governor was an in-law to the Ezza people.
He said that the governor’s body language in recent times had casted serious doubts on his unbiased leadership roles in the matter.
According to Acha, the actions and inactions of the governor in the crisis is a clear validation of rumours that the Ezza stakeholders have already conspired to cede part of Effium land to him.
“There appears to be a conspiracy between the state governor governor and the Ezza tribe in the persistent crisis in Effium Community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state.
“The governor has been bent on playing unnecessary politics with the lives of innocent citizens and their hard earned property in Effium.
“This is irrespective of the overwhelming facts and evidence presented to him by the indigenous people regarding the crisis in order to take appropriate decision in this matter,” he said.
Acha called on the Federal Government (FG), international community and the civil society organisations to come to the rescue of the hapless indigenes in the community to avert a possible genocide.
“Since the state government has refused to ensure that justice is done to the oppressed indigenous people, we call on the FG and others to lend helping hands in order to find a lasting solution.
“We want to let the world know that Effium as a host community to larger resident clan like Ezza is currently endangered and facing existential threats.
“In the absence of external interventions, Effium indigenes will not hesitate to enforce their rights to self-defense in any attempt to challenge their rights to peaceful existence, life and survival,” he said.
Acha said that the Ezza settlers had gravely violated the terms of their tenancy or occupation of Effium land.
“Effium people are still willing as being persuaded by the governor, to most reluctantly, recommend that government should superintend the re-organisation of the entire settlement pattern of Effium land in such a way that the Effium indigenes and Ezza settlers could be separated by clearly marked and identifiable boundary,” Acha said.