The former Commissioner for Information and State Orientation in Ebonyi State, Chief Abia Onyike, at the weekend has blamed the ravaging cult killings in Uwutu Edda, Afikpo south LGA on the alleged lopsided political appointment by the state governor, Chief David Umahi.
Recall that over three persons was recently killed by cult groups loyal to one of the political leader in Uwutu Edda community.
Onyike who was the former National Vice President of NUJ made this known in a statement signed and forwarded to Ebonyi News Network in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital.
He alleged that some aid in the Umahi administration, especially the local government chairman of Afikpo South, Mr Eni Uduma wants to perpetuate themselves in power, and such was the causes of the ongoing cult killing in Owutu Edda and Nguzu Edda communities in the Afikpo South Local Government Area.
According to him: “The immediate causes of the bloody confrontations in the area, can be traced to three recent events which heightened tension in the major flashpoints of the LGA. The events are the sharing of political offices in the LGA in 2019, conduct of the 2020 Chairmanship and Councillorship primaries and composition of the COVID-19 Implementation/Enforcement Taskforce in the LGA.
“You may recall that in 2019, Governor Umahi favoured the political camp of Eni-Uduma Chima by conceding three of the four Coordinator-ship positions in the LGA, to him. Hon Eni-Uduma Chima was allowed to handpick the Coordinators. This was very bad in a Council area, where 90% of the political stakeholders in their party (PDP) are against the Council Chairman,”he said.
Added further that “Hon Eni spent eight years in the House of Assembly (2007 -2015). He was appointed a Care-taker Committee Chairman for Afikpo in 2015, elected as Chairman in 2017 and wants to remain in office till possibly 2023 before proceeding to the House of Representatives.
“The recent killings in Edda clan reflect the brutal and crude political culture of violence and bloodbath which had been used as an instrument of political domination of the area. It is an extension of the regime of terror, thuggery, intimidation and gangsterism mounted by the State government” he noted
In swift reaction, the Afikpo South LGA Chairman, Eni Uduma, had denied the allegations stressing that neither the state governor nor himself, was responsible for the deaths or the crisis rocking the Council.
According to him, “it is true both surprising and embarrassing to me. Not even my worst enemy has ever associated me with cultism. It’s childish and beneath my dignity. I don’t have anything to do with the deceased or their alleged killers. I tried my best to keep the peace and ensure security of lives and property in the area. I engaged the town union, traditional institution and the youths. I engaged the Divisional Police Headquarters in Owutu and the D.P.O and his men, including the Area Commander and they did their best.
“I made reports to the Commissioner for Internal Security in the state for intervention and appealed to the Commissioner of Police too, for his intervention and reinforcement which he promptly granted.
“Investigation is on and I can assure you that I’m not involved in the unfortunate incident. I’m part of the solution and not part of the problem.” he stressed.