COVID-19: Group blames crisis in Ebonyi LG on Lawmaker flouting govt order. govt ....I did not instigate crisis. Lawmaker.

By Mbam Ogodo, Abakaliki

A group under the aegis of Ekoli Band of Hope Union has condemned in its entirety the unlawful activities of the lawmaker representing Afikpo South West State constituency at the State House of Assembly, Hon. Nkemka Onuma for instigating the crisis that erupted at Nguzu Edda in Afikpo South local government area of Ebonyi State.

In a statement signed by the Chairman, Dr Chibuzor Kalu and Secretary, Dr Nnachi IMO Amos and made available to the press, the group sued for peace and called on the people of Nguzu/Ebiri to abstain from activities that can lead to avoidable conflicts with Ekoli as the network of relationships among the people naturally set limits to unnecessary conflicts.

The statement berated the people of Nguzu, for disregarding State Government's directive to cease from all burials and other social events within the State as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID19.

It added that the people deified government order and went ahead to hold their burial ceremonies on the directive of the lawmaker, the development it said led to the clash between the COVID-19 taskforce and some of youths of Nguzu community, resulting in the death of a youth (names withheld) in the area.

The statement wondered why a sitting legislator tactlessly led his people to flaunt an Executive directive, block a federal road, attack people of his own constituency, and confront the military in rifling showdown."

It further urged on the people of Nguzu to prevail on their multimillionaires, political leaders and political thugs to stop terrorizing the people of Ekoli as peaceful coexistence is better than conflictual relationship.

"To ensure total compliance to these Government directives, the Ebonyi State Government mandated the Council Chairmen and Coordinators of Development centres to set up task forces not only to enforce compliance to these directives but also to educate and enlighten people on preventive measures against the menacing COVID19.

"This clarification has become necessary because it has been deliberately, misleadingly published in various media that the Ekoli People after holding their burials turned round to stop the burials of Nguzu people because the Council Chairman, Hon. Dr. Eni Uduma Chima, is of Ekoli descent; that it was he who set up the COVID 19 taskforce, not mentioning that the taskforce also consists of people from Nguzu Edda.

"In conclusion, let people use their reasoning to ask ‘Why have Nguzu and Ebiri not laid a formal complaint to the Office of the Executive Governor, the Chief Security Officer of the State?’ ‘Why have the stakeholders of Nguzu/Ebiri not reported the matter to the Office of the Commissioner of Police?' Why have they not reported to the military or to the office of the Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace?' The logical answer is because they know that their lies cannot sell in a formal setting. "

In his reaction, the Honourable Member, Hon. Nkemka Onuma denied violating government order on ban on public gathering.

"To put the record straight, nobody had Covid 19 around me, nobody had burial, wedding or child dedication around me and there was no event in my compound.

" I simply had visitors as an Honourable member and if that was an offence, I stand to be convicted. There was no canopy or music mounted in my compound. The boys were in front of my compound and did not cause any blockade ", he said.