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Communal clash: Umahi orders arrest of PDP chieftain in Ebonyi

Communal clash: Umahi orders arrest of PDP chieftain in Ebonyi
January 25
23:27 2021

David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi, has ordered the arrest of Silas Onu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caretaker publicity secretary in the state, for allegedly sharing “inflammatory” information on the social media.

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The governor also directed security operatives to arrest those who peddled fake news about the communal crisis involving residents of Effium and Ezza-Effium communities in Ebonyi state.

On Saturday, eight persons were confirmed dead, while several houses including a petrol station were razed in Effium and Ezza-Effium communities, following a clash as a result of leadership tussle involving members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state.

Speaking during a tour of Effium on Monday, Umahi said opposition is allowed in a democratic government, but should not be used as an opportunity to peddle fake news and create problems for the country.

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“Opposition is allowed in our government but it must not be fake news, and you cannot sit in your homes to cause problems in the state,” NAN quoted Umahi to have said.

“I urge security agencies to go after individuals who peddle fake news to prove their points as this would allow peace return to the society.

“I also order the arrest of Mr Silas Onu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caretaker publicity secretary, over alleged inflammatory publication on the social media concerning the crisis.”

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The Ebonyi governor noted that those arrested in connection with the communal crisis will only be released after both parties involved in the clash embrace peace.

“The state’s attorney-general must procure a court order stipulating that they can only be released on my instruction,” he said.

“A judicial panel of inquiry should also be constituted over the matter as I would order their release when women from both sides confirm that permanent peace has returned to the area.”

Umahi asked those who were displaced as a result of the crisis to return to their homes, while assuring them of adequate security.

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Meanwhile, Onu, in a statement on Monday, said he would challenge the directive calling for his arrest, adding that he had nothing to do with the crisis.

“Let the whole world know that I reside in Abuja and have no interest in whatever led to the crisis in Ezza and Effium. What interested me more was the failure of protection of lives and properties of the government,” he said.

“I have filed a fundamental right action already. That is the protection that our constitution bequeaths upon us.”

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