…it’s extremely wicked, barbaric
By Our Correspondent
Many indigenes of Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and indeed the State, yesterday condemned the killing of a 7 month old pregnant woman by hoodlums in the Area.
The deceased, Urenwa Kalu Chima, was the wife of the Commander of Ebubeagu Security Operatives in Afikpo South Local Government of the State.
This current episode is eliciting lots of condemnations from different quarters in the State.
Reacting, the All Progressives Congress, APC House of Representatives candidate for Afikpo North/South Federal Constituency in the 2023 general election, Barr. Eni Uduma Chima, who described the ugly scenario as extremely wicked and barbaric, explained that “the arson and killing of a pregnant woman in Amoso Edda have nothing to do with the Ekoli-Edda people”
According to him, the people of Ekoli-Edda community reacted to the killing of a youth leader- Mr. Eseni Kalu Egwu- in Ekoli Edda. The Amoso Edda atrocities also have nothing to do with the supporters and loyalists of Barr. Eni Uduma Chima, who are currently being harassed all over the places by Ebubeagu Operatives.”
In a statement titled “A dispassionate look at the security situation in Edda” the former Chairman of Afikpo South LGA of Ebonyi State, who expressed confidence in the capacity and ability of the Nigerian Police and other sister security agencies to get to the roots of the crimes called on the general public “not be deceived by the attempts by desperately wicked individuals to divert attention from objective, thorough and diligent investigation.”
He said: “The killing of a pregnant woman and wife of the Commander of Ebubeagu Security Operatives in Afikpo South Local Government Area is extremely wicked and condemnable. This barbaric act cannot be excused under any guise, and I shall invest my time, material and other resources to get to the root of the matter and cause law enforcement agencies to bring the perpetrators to book.
“I make bold to assert that the arson and killing of a pregnant woman in Amoso Edda have nothing to do with the Ekoli-Edda people, who regrettably violently reacted to the killing of a youth leader- Mr. Eseni Kalu Egwu- in Ekoli Edda. The Amoso Edda atrocities also have nothing to do with the supporters and loyalists of Barr. Eni Uduma Chima, who are currently being harassed all over the places by Ebubeagu Operatives.
“The only thing correct in the stories being sold to the public by Mr. Kalu Chima Ekuma also known as ‘Oyeoku’ (Setter of Fire), who is the Afikpo South Commander of Ebubeagu are the facts that buildings were burnt and someone killed. The rest of the narratives which desperately try to link the crimes with those who participated in what happened in Ekoli-Edda and with the supporters of Barr. Eni Uduma Chima is but a fabricated hog-wash which cannot pass even the most superficial scrutiny. “
Explaining further, the former member of Ebonyi State House of Assembly added that “My connection to the 26th December incident is simply that I am from Ekoli-Edda. The youths are said to be my ‘boys’, whatever that means.
“As someone who has led the community well as a scholar, business man, leader of thought, House Member and Council Chairman, and earned their loyalty and trust, I regard not only the youths, but all Ekoli-Edda indigenes as my people. So there you have my men, my women, my girls and my boys. But then, I never sent anybody to undertake unlawful acts, and was never consulted. Take it from Eni Uduma Chima.
“Having said that, I or my supporters cannot be held vicariously liable for any misdemeanour or felony attributable to any adult capable of forming intention or others commissioned by unknown persons. Therefore, I will not succumb to any emotional blackmail calculated to tempt me into denying the good people of Ekoli-Edda- men, women, or youths, all of whom are loyal and faithful supporters of this Divine Mandate administration. Certainly, I take exception to the over-reaction of that sad day and plead with them not to exercise the Mosaic disposition of tit for tat.”
On the activities of the Ebubeagu Commander, the APC candidate stressed that he (Ekuma) has questions to answer before security agencies as regarding the recent development.
He said: “On the Amoso abomination, there is proof that the Ebubeagu Commander has motives for the killing of his wife as he has many cases with the Nigerian Police.
“There are also indications that he was expecting an attack and was afraid of his own shadow based on his nefarious activities, in- fact people within Amoso and environs were not surprised at the tragedy. There are also motives for some political actors who by all means do not want Barr. Eni Uduma Chima to contest the 2023 general elections, knowing that he will win a landslide if allowed to contest.
“These include some megalomaniacs who swore that only over their dead bodies will such eventuality come to pass. A cursory glance at the political activities in Edda will reveal who wants Barr. Eni Uduma Chima expelled from the Party and his Political Associates divested of all political positions.
“The same persons who have sworn that only over their dead bodies will Barr. Eni Uduma Chima make it to the National Assembly have a private grudge against the Commander of Ebubeagu in Afikpo South Local Government Area, details of which I may not state here, so as not to jeopardise successful investigation, in an attempt to provide convincing clarifications. These are leads which we shall provide cooperation for the relevant institutions to explore.
“On the Killing and Burning of Houses in Ekoli-Edda, I strongly condemn in its entirety the sad events of December 26th, 2022, in my beloved community. I especially regret the fact that I was not in Ekoli-Edda at the material time the problems erupted. I was in Abakaliki, having concluded with the ‘Amasiri Day’ celebration function, which I attended with the Deputy Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, the Chairman of Afikpo North Local Government Area, and the Coordinator of Amasiri Development Centre among hundred others.
“Yet, though largely in the dark, I processed the earliest little and vague information I got before the escalation of the incident, and proactively reached out to the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police.
“I got bits and pieces of information about the developments in Ekoli-Edda on the 26th of December, 2022, when it was a bit late. I regret the unfortunate incident. I feel for the families, friends and loved ones of those who were murdered and those whose properties were destroyed. I shall not go into what caused the problem or who is right or wrong. For, “If you go into the stories of what caused a fight, another fight may take place.”
“However, I am grateful to His Excellency, the Governor of Ebonyi State for the swift manner in which he stopped the senseless crisis in Ekoli Edda. If not for prompt intervention, the crisis may have consumed the entire community. The immediate deployment of security forces to Ekoli Edda saved the situation. The Governor’s intervention demonstrated the height of responsibility and responsiveness in governance.
“I appreciate the Nigerian Police, the Army, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the State Security Service, and their allied formations, for their professionalism and restraint even in the face of blatant provocation by the rampaging youths.
“In the same vein, I also commend the Ebubeagu Operatives who refused to take sides, when all the sides were wrong. After all, “two wrongs cannot not make a right.” God shall bless the different stakeholders of Ebonyi State who contributed in one way or the other in containing the security challenge in Ekoli-Edda.
“I call for genuine peace in Ekoli-Edda and the reconciliation of the Ekoli-Edda people. “When brothers fight to death, strangers inherit their possessions.” I shall continue to work for the peace, security and welfare of Ekoli-Edda.”
On the statement credited to the Special Assistant, S.A to the Governor of Ebonyi State on Internal Security, Hon. Eze Panchris Ikechukwu, in which he alleged that the atrocities of arson and murder of a pregnant woman were traceable to Barr Eni Uduma Chima, APC House of Representatives candidate, Eni called on him (S.A on Internal Security) to avoid the temptation of hasty generalization, and be circumspect with words not backed up with corresponding facts.
According to him, “Hon. Eze Panchris Ikechukwu may be speaking from an honest but ignorant mindset, especially having no training in crime and investigation. But then, such disposition should not be a license to sell dummies to the public when he has ample room to double-check and find facts.
“Eze may also be speaking from emotions, considering the enormity of the crimes and the fact that the Commander of Ebubeagu whose wife was killed, is his comrade. Also, coming at the heels of the ugly occurrences in Ekoli Edda on 26th December 2022, the temptation to generalisze hastily is there, yet, one should be circumspect with words not backed up with corresponding facts.
“The public, including Eze Panchris Ikechukwu, should ignore the cock and bull stories created to divert attention and achieve malicious political goals. They should desist from muddling up the objective findings of the competent hands on the matter with their coloured diversionary unguarded utterances. In a short while, the truth shall overtake wicked falsehood and despicable frame-ups. For, truth is like the Phoenix which if beaten, strangled or burnt will certainly come back to life.” Ends