Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi, has taken a bold step over the serious problem being witnessed in the state currently.
The Governor sent some top government officials packing for the main time over crisis rocking some areas in the state and its neighbouring community in Cross River State.
Recall that there is a serious communal clash going in a community in the state which clashes with the Cross River community which the government has been making frantic efforts to settle. The matter is taking a more serious dimension as the days go by.
According to The Nation, Governor Umahi yesterday suspended the Auditor-General of the state, Mr Innocent Nwida, from office over the latest communal crisis in the state.He also suspended other elected and appointed office holders from Igbeagu Community in the Izzi Local Government Area of the state because of the crisis. Umahi had on April 9 suspended the chairmen of Ikwo and Abakaliki local government councils and all elected and appointed office holders from Enyibichiri in Ikwo and Enyigba in Abakaliki over a communal clash.
The Commissioner for Border, Peace and Internal Security, Dr Kenneth Ugbala, announced the suspension of the officials while addressing newsmen after the governor’s meeting with people from Igbeagu Community, involved in a boundary dispute with Ukele Community in Cross River.
Ugbala noted that the suspension, which took immediate effect would elapse when peace returned to the communities. “The affected persons include the Auditor-General of the state, Mr Innocent Nwida, Mr Cletus Nwakpu, Project Coordinator of the FADAMA 3 programme and His Royal Highness, Ogbonnaya Ukwa, among other political office holders. “The issue of whether the governor has the constitutional right to suspend the elected officers does not arise because they are constitutionally mandated to protect the lives and property of their people.
“However, when an elected officer fails to perform this function, he has violated the constitution and should either resign, be suspended or charged to court. “The courts would interpret such issues further and we are expecting such situations with this decision taken,” Ugbala said. The commissioner berated the National Boundary Commission (NBC) for its inability to permanently resolve the boundary disputes, including others in several parts of the state.
“We sometimes doubt the sincerity of the Federal Government in settling such crisis and view the NBC as a toothless bulldog. it has made several visits to the disputed areas even before the inception of the present administration but no decision has been made. It is not our duty to demarcate the boundaries and the state government has attended all meetings convened by the NBC, being always disposed to peace.”
More developments on the issue are yet to emerge. Meanwhile, the governments of the two states that their communities are involved in the clash are expected to take bold steps to ensure that the crisis is resolved so that peace will be restored.
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