The Ebonyi State government has described as false a report(Not by The PUNCH) that no fewer than 1,150 residents were killed in the South-East region by security agents and herdsmen between October 2020 and December 2021.
According to the report, a civic group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, identified Ebonyi State as one of the states in the South-East where herdsmen and Security Agencies killed citizens within the period.
The group also stated that the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, is complicit in the killings of innocent citizens in the state and the South-East Zone.
This was debunked as false in a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Ebonyi State Governor on Media and Publicity, Francis Nwaeze, on Thursday.
The statement read in part, “Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have bothered responding to this lies-infested concoction but we have elected to make a few clarifications to save discerning minds from being misled by the agents of mischief.
“First, apart from the Ishielu unfortunate attack which was alleged to be a reprisal for an occurrence of years ago, there were no other incidences of herdsmen attack leading to death in Ebonyi State within the period under reference.
“Second, there were also no incidences of killings of innocent citizens orchestrated by Security Agencies anywhere in Ebonyi State within the same time lag.
“Third, Governor Umahi at no point aided nor abetted the killings of innocent citizens of Ebonyi State and Ndigbo, rather, Governor Umahi in collaboration with other leaders of South-East worked tirelessly to ensure Security Agencies did not avenge the killing of their colleagues in the course of agitations in the region.”
The statement concluded, “…we enjoin the general public to disregard the hoax which is an attempt by the disgruntled opposition to score cheap political points targetted at denting the towering political reputation of Governor Umahi and sow a seed of discord between the Governor and Ndigbo as well as Nigerians in general.”