The Human Rights Defenders (HURIDE), has urged the Ebonyi State Governor, Engr David Nweze Umahi, to look into recent allegations of destruction of certain compounds in Ezza Effium in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state by security operatives.
According to a statement made available to Glonat Newsonline Wednesday in Abuja, signed by HURIDE Chairman, Ebonyi State, Sampson Oko Nweke, some residents of the aforementioned community approached the group to beg the state government for urgent intervention.
The statement reads: “Seven aged persons brought a complaint to our office. Four men and three women. They said they came from Ameka, Nwenewo, Amana, Igbudoke and Umuezoka villages of Ezza Effium in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
“They decried the malicious destruction of their properties, razing of their houses and looting of their properties by people they suspect to be government security operatives who usually come in the guise of investigation assignment in the war-ravaged Community of Effium Community, Ebonyi State.
“Speaking to HURIDE, one of them who gave his name as Mr Nwokwu Nwakpa from Ameka village lamented; ” they have been destroying and burning our houses. They are also looting our properties. Now, we are completely finished. These people doing this to us are those security personnels who routinely come from Abakaliki to our villages for investigation.
“They don’t come to protect us. They are destroying us instead of defending us. We want government to hear our cry. We want the people who usually send them to know what they are doing to us. Our situation is worst now and our suffering has increased. We don’t know where they want us to go”.
“He named the compounds burnt by the security agents to include:
1) Ukpa Nwafor compound
2) Nwuzo Nwite compound
3) Nwokporo Nwiribo compound
4) Oyiba Igwe compound
5) Azi Ogbu compound
6) Nweke Aliegu compound
7) Ikpozu Nworie compound
8) Oyibe Ali compound
9) Mkpuma Ovu Nchi compound
10) Nwafor Elom compound
11) Johnson Onuma compound
12) Oliver Nwokporo compound
13) Ewa Nwankwo compound
14) Azubuike Usulor compound
15) Elom Onwe compound
16) Egede Omenyi compound
17) Oroke Ijeren compound
18) Akputa Nwunoke compound
19) Ngwuta Odum compound
20) Akpade Ugama compound
21) Onele Abaragu compound.”
The group added: “Another aged woman who said her name is Mrs Monica Mgbabu from Igbuduoke decried “this security people are burning our houses. Now, they have rendered us completely homeless. We have tried to enter our neighboring villages for temporary refuge but they refused us entry. We don’t know where else to go from here. We now live like rats and lizards because they have burnt our houses.
“We want Human Rights to help us. Help us talk to the state government. Help us talk to the Federal Government and international community. We need permanent peace in Effium. Government should urgently bring permanent peace there so as to henceforth stop further hostility, further destruction of lives of innocent people and further looting of our properties”.
“However, as a human Rights body fully committed to humanity services and to defending human rights and liberty, we sincerely commend the government of Ebonyi State under Engr David Umahi for all the active measures so far deployed towards nipping the Effium crisis in the bud.
“At the same time, we charge the state government to immediately investigate these heavy allegations against the security agents, who go to Effium routinely on investigation. If found to be true, it will be advisable that the team(s) so accused be reprimanded and/or summarily substituted. This will help bring sanity and restore government confidence in the services and sacrifices of the security operatives in the area.
“Above all, HURIDE condemns the recent abduction and continued disappearance of some engineers supervising the Effium axis of the Right Road Project of Ebonyi State government. The group also condemns the recent attack on police officers who went on investigation over the disappearance of the Engineers. Those behind this banditry and unrest must stop forthwith for permanent peace to reign in the once peaceful land of Effium, the food basket of Ebonyi State.”