Friday, June 10

Communal war: Ex-council boss wants sponsors of killings in Enugu communities exposed

Communal war: Ex-council boss wants sponsors of killings in Enugu communities exposed

The immediate past chairman of Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, Pastor Sam Iyiogwe, Friday, called for a thorough investigation into the protracted Oruku/Umuode communal war.

Iyiogwe, who addressed journalists in Enugu said the role of some individuals, who allegedly fueled and sponsored the‎ over 20 years crisis must be brought to book.

‎The ex-chairman was at the helm of affairs when peace finally returned to the area months back. He condemned the role played by major stakeholders in not only prolonging the war but causing the killing of innocent villagers including women and children.

According to him, “These same people that sponsored the communal crisis in the local government have been causing troubles here and there and the communities have been calling on the state government to investigate the role played by some stakeholders in the Oruku/Umuode communal war where several lives were lost.”

While attributing the return of peace in the area to prayers, he noted that what happened to the Umuode and Oruku people were worse than what happened to Nimbo people, alleging that accusing fingers had been pointing at some prominent politicians in the area.

“These have to be investigated,” he posited.

Iyiogwe who recently came under negative spotlight when reports surfaced in the media, alleging that he embezzled millions of naira while in office said he has nothing to hide.

He disclosed that “as a good citizen of this country I have answered both the EFCC and ICPC because I have nothing to hide; I am one of the people who believe that you can be called at anytime to explain your activities.”

Dismissing the allegations as untrue, Iyiogwe pointed accusing fingers at some of his predecessors whom he claimed wanted him to share council allocation with them.”

Addressing newsmen in Enugu recently, Iyiogwe said; “I wish to categorically state that the publication is just an attempt to damage an innocent man’s name and to rubbish my hard earned character and to defame y family name.

“It is laughable for one to allege over N200 billion frauds in a local government within a period of four years because even the state government has not received such amount within such a period. From their allegations it means I stole N4.3 billion monthly; a local government?”

He said his accusers were men of questionable characters, who did not deserve any response but was peeved at what he described as unprofessional handling of the petitions by media houses, saying they were sponsored.

Iyiogwe said he was a successful business man before coming into politics and becoming local government chieftain. According to him, he retired as voluntarily from the Nigeria Custom’s Service in 1993 and went into business in the oil and gas industry where he had successful dealings with expatriate companies, who would never gad done business with him if he were a man of dubious character.

“I have been explaining my activities; my performance is there for people to see; if you go there today, you will see the difference between how we met the local government they left like abandoned chickens and now.”

Iyiogwe had taken media men on tour of Nkanu East council area when he came into office and the deplorable condition of the area was well reported.

His constant cries and appeals for help to his people have paid off as Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has declared Nkanu East as the most backward council area in the state and has embarked on some heart-touching projects in the area coupled with sensitive appointments for Nkanu East people.

It was perhaps due to his achievements in office that Governor Ugwuanyi gave him appointment, which he said was probably responsible for the negative reports borne out of envy against him.

However putting such reports behind him Iyiogwe said he was now concerned with assisting the governor to deliver on his mandate and deliver democracy dividends to the people.

He said the governor was passionate about development of rural areas and recently awarded contracts for projects across the states not only in Nkanu East, but targeting the rural communities generally.

“I also want to commend the governor’s approach and passion for development of the rural areas; recently projects have been awarded across the state not only in my local government targeting the rural communities.

“If we can reach the rural communities through road infrastructure, electricity, you find out that you have little or no problem in the urban cities”, he further stated.‎

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