Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development, FENRAD, a Pro-democracy and Environmental justice group, has tasked Governor Dave Umahi on the security of lives and property of residents of Ebonyi State.
The rights group decried the incendiary attacks and killings of indigenes in Ohaukwu Local Government Council of the state by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.
It asked the Ebonyi government to rise to the occasion and do the needful in securing the citizenry from internal attacks.
The group claimed the scale of killings has inserted a large question mark on the Umahi-led government’s role as custodian of lives and properties within Ebonyi.
A statement by the FENRAD Executive Director, Nelson Nnanna-Nwafor on Wednesday, in Aba, berated the government’s penchant in churning out a plethora of press releases when such ugly attacks continue to occur, urging Umahi administration to go beyond media releases and save lives and properties as is its constitutional mandate.
Parts of the statement read, “FENRAD learned that the Ebonyi State government was contemplating putting up a 1000-man vigilante formation(s) across the state to safeguard local and rural communities, mostly. While it is welcome and ideal, we wish to remind the state government that response to matters of life requires immediacy and rapidity and urges the Umahi-led government to vertically address this from top to bottom in such a way and manner that this evil does not repeat itself in the state.
“The Southeast is already threatened. Ebonyi, if not well handled, may morph into an inferno. This is not what we wish for or in any part of the country. FENRAD urges the state and even the federal government to get to the bottom of this whole matter; find out the remote and immediate causes of the conflict; address same and let culprits face prosecutorial trials”.
In the same vein, the Ebonyi State Government had stated that contrary to different sources, the attack was not carried out by the Fulani herders but was a fallout of age-long inter-communal clash between Ngbo people of Ebonyi and their Agila neighbours of Benue State.
The Government announced this in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Ebonyi State Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe.