By Christian Ogbonna, Abakaliki.
Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi vowed that the state government would continue to work hard at ensuring that the masterminds of the recent killings at Ekoli Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area of the state are apprehended and prosecuted.
Umahi made the declaration when he paid an unscheduled visit to the scene of the incident on Tuesday.
Umahi also strecssed that he would not consider the release of the detained All Progressives Party (APC) State Chairman, Stanley Emegha, and APC Candidate for Afikpo North/Afikpo South Federal Constituency, Eni Uduma Chima, until all the masterminds of the killings were arrested and prosecuted.
The governor insisted that a joint security task force would continue to maintain its presence at Ekoli Edda until normalcy returned to the neighbourhood.
“I will not release any of your children that I am holding until all those behind the killings are identified and prosecuted.
“I know that we are in a political period, and my rigid stand on doing the right thing might make us to lose some votes; I am ready to lose but I will win with Jesus!
“The right thing must be done,” he said.
Umahi also directed the Commissioner of Police, Garba Aliyu, to ensure that security agents on surveillance duties in the troubled area operated within the rules of engagement.
He advised the people to report any act of high-handedness to the council chairman, who would, in turn, reach out to him, while urging the supporters of parties involved to exercise restraint.
“I called on supporters of the two major protagonists to exercise restraint, in order not to reignite the crises,” he said.
Mr Chima Ekumankama, Chairman of Afikpo South Local Government Council, thanked the governor for the visit and for bringing peace to the area, after the residents were displaced by activities of gunmen on Dec. 26, 2022.