Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi has announced the immediate suspension of all civil servants from the conflict-torn Effium community in the Ohaukwu local government area over the killings of five construction workers.
Mr Umahi announced this on Tuesday in Abakaliki during a Security Summit organised by the state branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and founders of the state.
The governor alleged that the killers in the area were funded from both within and outside the state.
“The coordinators of the two local government development centres from the area are removed from office while salaries of permanent secretaries from the area have been suspended,” added Mr Umahi. “I will approach the state House of Assembly on the way forward concerning the chairman of the council and the two assembly members from the area.”
He explained that the political officeholders could not receive salaries, which would go into sponsoring killings and destruction of people’s property.
Mr Umahi regretted the reported killing of five construction workers in the state’s ring road, which passed through the area by unknown assailants.
“These workers who knew nothing about the conflict were on that site to help the state actualise the road project. The suspects arrested over the incident have confessed that the workers have been killed and buried, and we sought to know the location of burial to pacify the victims’ families,” the Ebonyi governor explained. “The police team which visited the area for investigation were ambushed, and two offlcers have been reported missing or killed.”
Mr Umahi urged stakeholders of the area to handle the situation within seven days as it has reached a stage that warrants the federal government’s decisive action.
“I can rid the hoodlums within 72, and the stakeholders should heed to the directive to prevent a different story on Effium community,” he said.