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Umahi suspends another coordinator over communal conflict



Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi has suspended the Coordinator of Ikwo East Development Centre, Mr. Emmanuel Ekuma.

Development centres are the fourth tier of government in the state. There are 64 of them across the 13 local governments.

ÊkwÍ East Development Centre is in Ikwo Local Government.

Secretary to the State Government Kenneth ägbala announced the suspension in a statement yesterday.

He said the suspension is indefinite and with immediate effect.

Ugbala said: “Governor Umahi has approved the indefinite suspension of Mr. Ekuma as the coordinator of Ikwo East Development Centre for negligence and dereliction of duty, with immediate effect.

“Consequently, Ekuma is directed to hand over government items in his possession to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner before the close of work on June 2.

“Please, ensure compliance with this directive.”

Although no reason was given for the suspension of the coordinator, it is believed that it may not be unconnected with the breakout of hostilities between a community in his domain and a neighbouring community in Abakaliki Local Government.

The Enyibichiri/Enyingba communal crisis has been on for years, with intermittent clashes between the two communities leading to loss of lives.

It was gathered that fresh hostilities resumed a few days ago resulting in the blockade of the Nwakpu/Nkwagu road leading to the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike ÊkwÍ, by the warring fighters.

A statement yesterday by the institution urged members of the university community to avoid the road while going to school.

The statement, signed by the Head of Public Relations, Elom Iyke Ubochi, advised workers and students to make use of alternative routes to the school.

It said: “I have the directive of the vice chancellor to inform workers and students to be wary of the Nwakpu/Nkwagu road, because of insecurity.

“They are advised not to use the road in either going to Abakaliki or coming to the university. Rather, Onueke road should be used until the situation normalises.”

The Chairman of Ikwo Local Government, Stephen Orogwu, has implored the people of Ikwo Noyo and Izzi Nnodo to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign.

A statement by his media aide, Ugonna Utulor, said the crisis had consumed lives and destroyed properties.

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