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Revealed! Gov Martin Elechi Divide & Rule Scheme

Source: huhuonline.com
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If the issues of abuse and injustice in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria were addressed fairly, justly and timely, the malignant crisis currently ravaging the region would have been averted.

Following the apparent foot-dragging or deliberate neglect by the presidency, a similar scenario is playing out in Ebonyi State where the combined assault by the Ishielu LG, Ebonyi State government and the Nigerian Army is gradually and systematically snuffing out the people of Ezza-Ezillo community from the map of Ebonyi State .

The Ebonyi State government has never hidden their bias and interest in the conflict between Ezza-Ezillo and their Ezillo neigbhours. The state and local government, instead of mediating and maintaining a neutral stand in the crisis, have continued to do everything in their powers including funding, to tilt the conflict in favour of the Ezillo people who are apparently more politically connected to the Government of Chief Martin Elechi.

In all the period of conflict, Ezza-Ezillo community has remained the battle field. The community have never taken the war to their Ezillo brothers but have had to continually defend themselves against series of attacks from the Ezillo people who obviously enjoy great immunity and motivation from government at all levels. The question is , for how long would the Ezza-Ezillo people hold out in the face of such relentless assault from their Ezillo brothers?

Ezza-Ezillo has continually called for peace but it appears the government and the powers that be, want them broken. To bow, bend and eventually break.

The military whose actions are perceived as the role of the Federal government in the crisis has perfectly been playing agent provocateur in the conflict.

While they have been indicted for supplying arms to a faction in the crisis , the Army is claiming to have arrested militants in the warring factions, for illegal possession of arms. This and other illegalities culminated in the recall of the former detachment of military personnel in the warring community , especially those led by one Captain Tasunda.

The present army detachment is gradually confirming public suspicion that they were deployed not to maintain peace, but to subdue the Ezza-Ezillo people. The army which was previously barring Ezza-Ezillo youths from coming into their community have now extended the treatment to women and children of the community.

Today, Ezza-Ezillo women who go to town to sell their farm produce for survival, are barred by the soldiers from coming back to their homes thus subjecting the Ezza-Ezillo to extreme abuse,subjugation and possible extinction.

Their children hardly attend school as public functions and utilities have become increasingly hazardous while the Ezillo people are living normally with every aspect of their lives catered for by government . This bias also reflects why no Ezza-Ezillo man have occupied any office, even as small as a councilor in all their 80 years of existence in Ishielu local government area.

The Ezza-Ezillo people who are currently living under increasing anxiety and tension have alleged thus, "the latest game plan is a grand conspiracy by the soldiers and the sponsors of the Ezillo people to attack Ezza-Ezillo with the excuse that our people initiated the fight. Under this guise, the soldiers would burn down and totally destroy our community thus obliterating us from the map of Ebonyi State ".

It would be recalled that instead of peaceful resolution of the crisis between the Ezillo and Ezza-Ezillo people, the State Government had directed the Ezza-Ezillo people to abandon their home of over eight years to relocate to a barren land without any infrastructure or social amenity. Against this directive, which was in flagrant abuse of established standard practices in any conflict situation, the Ezza-Ezillo people took legal action challenging their forced displacement. This action apparently drew the ire of Governor Martin Elechi who has now vowed to have his way at all costs.

However, there are allegations purporting that the land owned and occupied by the embattled Ezza?Ezillo community have all been secretly allocated to some politicians, which informs the raging controversy and desperation surrounding their forced-relocation.

Most of the Ezza-Ezillos of productive age have been turned to fugitives in their own land.

Speaking to huhuonline.com, one of them lamented, "It is like the Nigerian state have found us guilty without hearing our case. The State government is maintaining an obstinate stand on this crisis because of the influence of Ezillo people in the Elechi-led government".

Meanwhile, at the Democracy Day celebration, the people had expected the government to categorically review and address the situation. In his Democracy Day address, Governor Martin Elechi did not even spare a line for the crisis but in a radio phone-in programme, he vowed to enforce his will against the Ezza-Ezillo community at all costs, inspite of the pending suit in court against his plot to evacuate the people from their homes.

After concerted appeals to the presidency for intervention, without any reactions, the continued utterances and threats of forced-displacement by Governor Elechi has become more desperate and worrisome to good conscience.

And as all the combined forces of government, politicians and interest groups continue to snipe and mobilize against this peasant community, if nothing is done by the presidency, the Ezza-Ezillo people would increasingly get decimated.

Though there are some authoritative hints that the Senate has directed the Chairman, Senate Committee on State and local government to look into the plight of the Ezza-Ezillo people, it should be noted that the longer it takes to get justice for this people, the more Ezza-Ezillo people that would have to die.

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