A group, the Ebira Youth Congress (EYC), has warned that Ebiraland in Kogi State could relapse into deep political violence “if nothing sincere and concerted” was done to arrest the current crisis in the land.
The group gave the warning in a statement by its President-General, Baba Abdulrazak, on Monday.
The warning followed recent stoppage of some events in Ebiraland.
It listed the events to include a planned reception for the retirement of a judge, Moses Bello, disruption of an empowerment programme organised by Ahmed Ogembe, the senator representing Kogi Central Senatorial District, the attacks on opposition party members, the alleged desecration of Ebiraland and torture and death of a masquerade custodian.
Stating that the Ebiraland was yet to fully recover from the politically-induced orgies of blood baths and the wars of immolation between 2007 and 2009, EYC called on “well-meaning Anebiras to rise to preserve the relative peace we have been enjoying in recent times.”
Below is the text of the statement:
*RESURGENCE OF POLITICAL INTOLERANCE IN EBIRALAND: WHY OUR LEADERS MUST AVOID THE PITFALLS OF THE RECENT PAST*
The Ebira Youth Congress (EYC) has observed with utter dismay and grave concern, the gradual but imminent relapse of Ebiraland into the horrible state of yesterday, if nothing sincere and concerted is made at arresting the situation.
The inordinate desires of some Ebira politicians snowballed Ebiraland into theaters of war some years ago. Our land and its people are yet to fully recover from the politically induced orgies of blood baths and the wars of immolation between 2007 and 2009.
EYC can’t forget the massive loss of lives, destruction of properties and sacking of communities that resulted from that dark era.
We are distressed by the sudden, repulsive and highly questionable stoppage of a planned reception for the retirement of a highly revered elder statesman, Justice Moses Bello, from active service; the disruption of Senator Ogembe’s empowerment programme and its concomitant damaging effects on the properties and business of Afims Hotels; the reportedly unprovoked attacks on elements of opposition parties across Okehi L. G. A.; the desecration of Ebira tradition and the resultant death of the tortured night masquerade custodian, Mr, Akobe- all in a couple of days back. These unfortunate events are too grave to be dismissed!
Patriotic minds are worried and wondering why some progrmames identified with certain persons or groups have been cancelled abruptly on security ground, many others are allowed in the same space and time. WHY THE SELECTIVE TREATMENTS BY OUR GOVERNMENT AND MEN OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY? For example, while the well-planned reception for Justice Moses Bello was stopped by the soldiers who stormed his residence a few hours to the event, a high profile marriage ceremony, and a religious programme organised by an appointee of the State government took place the same day in the land. Are the men of the Nigerian Army using different rules of operation for different persons in Ebiraland? Or are the soldiers meddling in partisan matters in Ebiraland?
It is interesting to note that after similar cancellation of the highly and painstakingly planned fiftieth anniversary ceremony of Ebira Peoples Association (EPA), the apex and umbrella sociocultural body of the Ebira Tao nation; several gatherings/political rallies and cozy ceremonies by certain persons have been held in Ebiraland without the men of Nigerian Army or any security operatives stopping them. We make bold to say that it is a constitutional responsibility of the Kogi State government and the Local Government Councils to provide security for all in Ebiraland to carry out their lawful activities without intimidation, harassment and attacks as being witnessed in the land today.
As a matter of fact, it amounts to an outright indictment on the state government that patriotic citizens are forced to put off their legitimate events on grounds of security.
This, to a very large extent, brings to question claims by government of being on top of security in Ebiraland. We are disturbed that over five serving and retired high court judges, retired military Generals, business moguls and other senior citizens of Nigeria who had arrived Ebiraland for the Justice Moses’s reception were unfortunately forced back with a very negative impression that our land is not a safe place for visits and by extension, business. Every sincere mind can imagine the socioeconomic implications of this negative picture being inadvertently created of our land before the whole world!
We call on the security agencies to sincerely investigate these security breaches and infringements on freedom of association. We urge the security agencies to be proactive and protect ALL LAW ABIDING CITIZENS before they cave in to the temptation of resorting to the unlawful act of self-help.
We call on well-meaning Anebiras to rise to preserve the relative peace we have been enjoying in recent times. This is not the time for silence- we all owe it a duty to save Ebira from this fast regression to the miseries of yesterday!
His Excellency, Alh. Yahaya Bello, the Governor of Kogi State, must not allow some of his overzealous aides and hangers-on to squander the goodwill of his pride divine mandate. “A government that is favoured by God and loved by the people” does not need coercion to succeed.
A stich in time saves nine!
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