A COMMUNITY IN EBONYI STATE CRIES OUT OVER THE GRUESOME MURDER OF A 19 YEAR OLD BOY BY THE CHAIRMAN OF AFIKPO SOUTH LGA.
The parents of a 19 year old boy, Chidi Arua Oji, and the entire Ebiri and Nguzu Autonomous communities in Nguzu Edda, Afikpo South LGA of Ebonyi State has been thrown into sorrow and disquiet over the gruesome murder of their son and continued acts of terrorism by the Local Government Chairman, Hon. Eni Uduma Chima and his daredevil gang of criminals that goes under the name Okpiti (politically christened Morekanbedone).
The series of events that brought about the unleashing of the present siege and banditry on Nguzu community by Hon. Eni Uduma Chima and his gang began with the broadcast by HE Engr. David N. Umahi banning burials, wedding ceremonies and all activities that are wont to run foul of the social distance requirement necessary for stemming the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Cognizant that in Nguzu, a community noted for its traditionalism and orderliness, burials are normally allowed only on the last weekend of the month, the Eze Edda-in-Council, to ensure strict compliance with the directive of the State government, through the local medium of information did not only adequately disseminate the information but also ensured that no family would contravene the directive. Little wonder, there was no gathering for burials throughout the length and breadth of the community as families that could not postponed their burials only solemnly and quietly put away their deceased member.
Disappointed that Nguzu community did not run foul of the social distance rule hence not providing him an opportunity to, in the name of enforcing government directive, once again invade and attack the community, the council chairman, Hon. Eni Uduma Chima (whose flaunting hatred for Nguzu is publicly known to be without guile and limit) became restive. Thus, he had to contrive a taskforce made up entirely of the hoodlums in his Okpiti squad, with their ringleader Kenneth Okoro Agha (alias Mukoro) to come and stir crisis right inside the compound of his sworn political adversary, Hon. Nkemka Okoro Onuma on Friday March 27th, 2020.
Having stirred the crisis as planned, Mukoro and his gang rushed back to their leader, Hon. Eni Uduma Chima and his squad already stationed at the Ekoli Joint Hospital. Immediately, the Mukoro led “air-raid” arrived, the gang stormed Nguzu in two vehicles, and vigorously attacked the premises of Hon. Nkemka Okoro Onuma shooting persistently and intensively. They came out of Nkemka’s premises and continued to shoot heavily and sporadically which necessitated the people to scamper for safety. As the shooting was going on, Hon. Eni Uduma Chima sat back in one of the vehicles and watch his boys execute their evil on a peaceful community and thereafter went to enlist some soldiers and policemen who are in his payroll to assist him cover his trails.
A number of Nguzu people had wounds from gunshots even as Eni had personally shot the 19 year old Chidi Arua Oji and carried his corpse.
The family of the murdered teenager and the entire Nguzu community is crying out to all well-meaning Nigerians, the Federal Government and the International community because up till now the body of the slain boy has not been released to the family by the Chairman of the Council and his gang and no single arrest has been made after five days of incidenting the matter at Nguzu police post.
The community appears hopeless and helpless because Hon. Eni Uduma Chima, it is certain enjoys the accomplice protection and leveraging of the powers that be in Ebonyi State. He had been carrying out serial killings of Nguzu young men and terrorizing the people even before his imposition on Edda people as LGA Chairman by the present administration. Upon his ascension to power Eni Uduma Chima brazenly deployed his position and paraphernalia of government to killing sons and daughters of Nguzu. On July 5, 2017, shortly after assuming office as the Local Government Chairman, Eni Uduma Chima flaunting his adornment in a bullet-proof vest and menacingly carrying AK 47 with his armed men that included Kenneth Okoro Agha (alias Mukoro), Uka Mba Uka, James Ekuma Ufiem, and others invaded unsuspecting and innocent farmers from Nguzu Edda at Ama Nguzu where they had gone to harvest their oil palm fruit. In the course of their invasion, several Nguzu people were mercilessly beaten up, hit with the butt of the gun and their palm fruits and oil palm harvesting materials forcefully taken from them. Eni Uduma Chima did not just threaten the helpless and hapless victims of his attack that he has acquired arms to attack Nguzu Community but mock them to the effect that he was going to use his office as the Chairman to deal with Nguzu Community and dispossess them of their land.
When the matter was reported, instead of Eni Uduma Chima being reprimanded, the traditional ruler of Nguzu was threatened with dethronement; this undoubtedly embolden Hon. Eni Uduma Chima. Little wonder, why in 2018, Eni Uduma Chima attacked Nguzu women in their cassava farmland and curiously it was directed that both Nguzu and their invaders should not enter the farmland. Whereas, Nguzu community obeyed the directive, Eni Uduma Chima used his office to superintend over the communal stealing of Nguzu women’s cassava. All the cries to the authorities was to no avail as the Government did nothing to stop him. It is also common knowledge that Hon. Eni Uduma Chima extended his criminal acquisition of land to the neighbouring Egbor community in Cross River State and this has led to massive killings on both sides. He stockpiles arms in his community and uses government vehicles to further his terrorist activities and Government appears to be looking the other side, hence the belief that the State Government can go to any length to protect him.
This belief is fed by fact that in other Local Government Areas, the Governor made sure that political leaders are removed if their activities lead to death of persons. But with Eni Uduma Chima, from Oso Edda, to Egbor in Cross River State, his immediate Ekoli and of course, Nguzu Edda, we have had harvest of killing perpetrated by him, yet nothing happens to him; instead he receive accolades from the Government.
It is on record that because of his criminality and terrorist tendencies, all respectable and well-meaning Edda people vehemently protested Eni Uduma Chima’s candidature in the 2017 Local Government Elections in Ebonyi State, but in a curious twist of political expediency he was preferred and imposed on the people of Edda as the Local Government Chairman. Even now, notwithstanding his records of harassment, intimidation, threat to lives and properties, misuse of public office, and acts likely to cause breach of peace and total breakdown of law and order he is still being imposed on the Local Government Area in the forthcoming April 2020 Local Government elections.
There are court proceedings against his criminal acquisition of land but in defiance of such legal processes Eni Uduma Chima has forcefully and brazenly taken over those lands, thereby lending credence to the insinuations that he enjoys the protection of the Governor of the State. What is more, after the murder and carrying off of the dead body of the 19 year old Chima Oji Arua as well as attack on Hon. Nkemka Okoro Onuma on Friday March 27, 2020, in what has been described as a rather twist of justice, the Ebonyi State Governor, is said to have on Saturday March 28, 2020 ordered the detention of the aggressed Hon. Prince Nkemka Okoro Onuma, a member of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly at the Nkwegu military cantonment, while Hon. Eni Uduma Chima was not even questioned. In fact, on that Saturday, he led another team of hoodlums to invade Nguzu community and vandalize the generator that powers the street lights; this it is suspected is to put Nguzu in total darkness so that he will attack them in the night anytime he finishes his plan for the onslaught.
It is because of the State Government’s suspected paternalistic relationship with Eni Uduma Chima and perceived insensitivity to the plights of Nguzu people that the family of the murdered Chidi Oji Arua and entire Nguzu community is crying to all well-meaning Nigerians, the Federal Government and the International community.