In a bid to stem the violence that recently engulfed some parts of Agbaja Community in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Governor David Umahi has given a shoot- at-sight order to security agents against anyone found in possession of illegal arms.
The Governor gave the order on Wednesday during an assessment tour of the villages affected by violence in the state.
Umahi, who commiserated with the affected families, expressed disappointment with the political and community leaders in the area for their inability to nip the violence from the onset.
He described it as most worrisome that brothers within the same community should rise against themselves to the extent of taking lives, stressing that the violence was beyond mere politics.
He ordered for a comprehensive documentation of the destroyed houses, assuring that government would assist to rehabilitate those whose houses were destroyed.
Umahi had earlier boosted security presence in the area to forestall further breakdown of law and order.
He directed that the Commissioner of Police should withdraw police escort attached to unauthorised persons, adding that any security personnel escorting politicians who bring arms to the communities was doing so at his own perils.
Umahi said: “What I want to beg you is for peace to reign.“It is not APC versus PDP; it is more than that.
I have asked the Commissioner of Police to come for peace mediation.
“I have also set a Committee headed by Reverend Father Abraham Nwali together with the Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council and others.
“The reason we set up the committee is because you are brothers and sisters.“I don’t know the level of enmity or acrimony that would lead to killing of somebody and burning of people’s houses, brothers for that matter.
“If this is Izzi against another local government or other State, I could have known what to say, but in this case, I am short of words.
We will increase the security presence but I want to ask the youths to organize themselves to protect the defenceless women and children.
“Honestly, anybody who bears arms illegally is not worthy to live because such person does not bear the arm in vain.“He wants to kill defenceless people.
“I have said to the vigilante group and the community people, if you see anyone holding guns to kill our people, break the person’s hands and legs, tie the person with the gun and send him alive to the Police.
“What is happening here is totally unacceptable and I have asked the Police, whether it is APC or PDP, it does not matter to me.
“I am accountable for the life of every Ebonyian and I am accountable to God.