A combined team of police and Army, Saturday, arrested no fewer than 55 out of the 66 suspected warlords said to be fuelling the protracted communal war in Effium community, Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi state.
According to General Commander, 82 Division of the Nigeria Army, Maj. Gen. Taoreen Lagbaja, the suspected warlords were arrested in Okpuduma village of the community with arms and charms during a community raid.
Lagbaja, who was on operational visit to the community following persistent killings, shootings and burning of houses in trouble communities, was led by other top army officers, the state Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba, and his special team, the State Deputy Governor Dr. Kelechi Igwe, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha among other government officials who facilitated the arrest of the suspected warlords who were seen in the deserted village.
The suspects were rounded up as security agents searched the places they were spotted and recovered some ammunitions including charms.
After the arrest of the suspects and recovery of the arms and charms, the GOC and the team proceeded to Nwekendiagu village in the community for the same operation while the suspects were handed over to the police by the GOC for movement to police headquarters, Abakaliki for further interrogation.
The crisis was fuelled by a leadership tussle at the area’s branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, involving old and new executives.
It began as Effium motor park clash that escalated to a communal war between Effium and Ezza-Effium. Since it broke out, it has led to the death of many and destruction of properties worth millions of naira. It has continued unabated despite government interventions and Investigations into the crisis.
The crisis ensued as a result of a misunderstanding between two factions of Effium branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) over which group to be in-charge of collecting revenue in the Effium motor park.
According to a February 4 report by Daily Post, it was stated that Ebonyi State has constituted a judicial commission of inquiry into the recent Effium, Ezza-Effium communal crisis.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation in the state, Mr Uchenna Orji, stated this while addressing newsmen in Abakaliki, the state capital.
Orji said that renowned jurist, Justice Omaka Elekwa, heads the eight-member commission, with members drawn from the traditional and religious institutions, among other areas.
The Commissioner said that renowned jurist, Justice Omaka Elekwa, heads the eight-member commission, with members drawn from the traditional and religious institutions, among other areas.
Orji, who noted that the commission was given 30 days to submit their findings, said their terms of reference included determining the immediate and remote causes of the crisis.
He said: “The commission should also determine the extent of damage to lives and property, including those directly and indirectly involved in the crisis.
“The commission would recommend measures to be taken by the government to restore normalcy and forestall a recurrence, while making other recommendations for lasting peace in the area”