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Is ongoing genocide in Effium orchestrated by Ebonyi govt?

Governor Francis Nwifuru | File Image

 By Emmanuel Acha

His Excellency Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru and Engr. Dave Umahi, the immediate past governor of Ebonyi State, have times without number, proved their complicity in the ongoing genocidal war against the indigenous people of Effium including using Ebonyi State resources and power to encourage the annihilation of Effium people in their land.

Reasons being that these duo high profile individuals in authority have severally and consistently failed in fulfilling almost all their promises and statements made on several occasions to RESTORE permanent peace in Effium, and to hold to account those responsible for the killing of indigenous people and others in the community.

For instance, the killing of five Nelan Construction workers in Effium and four Police officers

After the former governor Dave Umahi had discovered that it was Ezza gunmen that killed the five Nelan Construction workers at Effium, the case was swept under the carpet and completely buried.

Recall also that Ezza gunmen ambushed and killed four police officers who went to evacuate the corpses of the construction workers that were killed.

 All these cases were swept under the carpet and buried for political reasons, perhaps after Ezza stakeholders went and bribed the government actors.

Also read: Ezza-Effium: Police confirm murder of two, abduction of seven others in Ebonyi

 Kidnap and killing of the Nigerian soldier in Effium community

 Recall that in October 2023, a Nigerian soldier on peace keeping mission was kidnapped and executed in the Effium community. On getting the report of this incident, Governor Ogbonna Nwifuru made a public statement that soldiers had been deployed to search for the missing soldier and to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act while promising that any of the two parties be it Effium or Ezza that is found responsible for the kidnapping and killing of the missing soldier will NEVER inherit Effium land again, and he will ensure that justice is done to the soldier.

It is important to note that Ezza gunmen had been found to be responsible for the kidnapping and killing of the missing soldier (his corpse and army wearables found as well, his riffles yet to be retrieved from the killers), yet the governor didn’t fulfill his promise of ejecting the killers from Effium land or bringing justice to the slain soldier.

Manipulations of the peace process

 Governor Ogbonna Nwifuru surprisingly overturned the report of Bishop Okoro-led Panel of Inquiry (set up by the governor himself) and recommendations of the panel were rejected.

Recall that the “Implementation Committee” was already constituted to implement the Bishop Okoro-led report and its recommendations as promised by the governor; held several meetings with Effium and Ezza, and the two parties (Effium and Ezza) eventually and completely signed a “Peace Pact” to ensure hitch-free implementation of the white paper.

After all the expended resources, progress  and successes recorded by the Bishop Okoro-led Committee and Dr. Ben Uruchi  Odo (Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the State)-led Implementation Committee, the governor in a swift manipulative twist surprisingly went and concocted another committee tagged, “Peace Committee,” headed by Amb. Frank Ogbuewu (who is an interested party married to an Ezza woman), to do Ezza and government collaborative bidding.

The manipulative and coercive actions of the “Peace Committee” to force Effium indigenes to sign their death warrant, a concocted report by the committee are stories left to be told another day.

Exclusion  of Effium people from the the government

 It is important to note that Effium people and by extension Orring ethnic group in Ebonyi State are systematically and fully excluded from occupying political positions in the state.

No Effium/Orring person is in the State Executive Council; none is a legislator in Ebonyi State House of Assembly; none is a Commissioner or head of any government agency.

Furthermore, in his intoxication to execute the clannish agenda against Orring people, the government under the leadership of governor Nwifuru made sure he shuts off all Effium/ Orring people from occupying leadership positions in his administration.

It took several advocacy efforts from the indigenous people to make the governor reluctantly and tokenistically give an Effium man, Chief Nicodemus Omenka, a politically controlled position of special adviser (SA) to the governor.

Governor’s inaction following reported cases of genocide  and attacks against Effium people

Keen observers will confirm the fact that Governor Nwifuru has consistently refused to take action on every reported cases of attacks and killings of Effium people by the Ezza gunmen.

 For instance, the governor still finds it difficult to address the constant and recent genocidal killings and maiming of Effium people at Ikachi, Lebadogom, Udebo, Okpeere villages of Effium and the ones that happened at Akanacha village in Benue State where six (6) Effiumites including children and women were brutally killed by the Ezza gunmen.

 The governor only wakes up from his sleep whenever there is a reprisal attack from Effiumites in self-defence.

Threates to demarcate Effium land for Ezza

The governor in his self-serving attempt and glaring display of his ulterior motive against Effium indigenous people, made a public service announcement on his Facebook page on June 20, 2024 that he is going to demarcate Effium Ancestral Land for the Ezza people in Effium community.

 While this is provocative, uncalled for, depicts deepened oppression of indigenous people and a clearcut agenda to annihilate and uproot Effium people from their ancestral Land and award same to another tribe that is a majority in Ebonyi State, it further exposes the complicity of the state government and the use of state resources to execute a conquest agenda against indigenous people in Ebonyi State.


 The world can clearly see that Effium people and by extension Orring ethnic group are highly endangered in Ebonyi State, a state where the killers of indigenous people are in connivance with and are using government resources to wage a war of conquest against Effium people, a minority tribe in the state.

The Effium war can be resolved with sincerity of purpose, toeing the path of truth and ensuring justice for the victims – people of Effium. Politicization, complicity and conspiracy against Indigenous people can only exacerbate the crisis.

.Acha, a

Human Rights activist, writes from

Enugu, Nigeria.

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