Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state on Thursday ordered the arrest of his Deputy Chief of Staff, Fidelis Okpata, and other ”political office holders and stakeholders” from the warring Ekpomaka and Inyimagu communities pending the amicable resolution of the violent crisis which erupted in the area two days ago.
Governor Umahi gave the directive at a security meeting with security chiefs and residents from both Ikwo and Abakaliki local government areas of the state at the Executive Council Chambers, Abakaliki
PREMIUM TIMES’ reporter learnt that the order was immediately carried out by the Commissioner of Police in the State, Titus Lamorde, who arrested Mr. Okpata and a few others.
The governor’s directive followed the persistent hostilities between the two communities in which lives and property worth millions of naira have been lost.
Governor Umahi expressed dismay that despite the decision of the state government to set up a committee to look into the crisis, the two communities ”have refused to give peace a chance to enable the state government look into the cause of fresh hostilities in the areas”.
“I am sad that there is still crisis in these communities despite the fact that we set up a committee in this state to look into the matter. We pleaded with the communities to allow a ceasefire and await the outcome of the committee report but it does appear that they do not want to give peace a chance.
“I therefore order the Commissioner of Police to arrest all the stakeholders and political office holders from the communities. Without looking back, all of you in this Executive Council Chamber are under arrest. I want the Commissioner of Police to detain you people until peace returns to the communities.”
He warned that his administration ”will do everything possible” to ensure safety of the people of the state and equally deal with anyone found fomenting trouble.