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Probe The killing of NELAN engineers in Ebonyi

By Carl Umegboro
02 January 2022   |   1:18 am
The Federal government must without delay or any political sentiment commence a full-scale investigation to unravel the abduction and killing of five consultant engineers working on the African Development Bank .....

The Federal government must without delay or any political sentiment commence a full-scale investigation to unravel the abduction and killing of five consultant engineers working on the African Development Bank (AfDB) project by hoodlums allegedly working for the state government. The five engineers working with an Enugu-based consultant engineering firm; NELAN Consulting Engineers were abducted on November 3 after they were deployed to the Ring Road project at Effium in Ebonyi State in continuation of routine supervisory works. A full-scale investigation is compulsory as all reports point accusing fingers and allege many threats from state actors against the lead consultant and managing director, Nelson Onyemeh. During a security council meeting of the state on November 30, Governor Umahi disclosed that the five engineers abducted by the notorious Ezza Warriors were killed and buried in Ebonyi State. This madness is alien to Igboland.

To worsen it, a source in the state alleged that the consultants were not just killed but burnt like criminals. Perhaps, as a cover up, their burnt corpses were hurriedly, secretly buried in Ebonyi thereby depriving their families access to their dead bodies. This allegation is grievous and therefore demands the whys and wherefores for the traumatic, heartless termination of lives of these professionals. In contradiction, the South-East region that has made ‘marginalization’ a daily chorus is instilling insecurity making their environment a no-go zone; killing their own professionals, eminent figures and monarchs at will and resisting developmental projects. This is indeed shameful.

The victims; Engr. Nelson Onyemeh (lead consultant/Chief Executive Officer of the engineering firm) from Ihiala in Anambra State; Engr. Ernest Edeani from Nkanu in Enugu State; Ikechukwu Ejiofor from Umunya in Oyi LGA of Anambra State; Engr. Samuel Aneke from Nkanu in Enugu-East LGA of Enugu State and Engr. Stanley Nwazulum from Amawbia in Awka-South LGA of Anambra State; all from the South-East geopolitical zone deserve justice.

Expectedly, the Ihiala Progressive Union (IPU), umbrella body of the people of Ihiala whose illustrious son, Onyemeh is a victim, had demanded for his whereabouts from the state government. This ugly incident can trigger intra-community crisis if not diligently and urgently handled. Thus, President Muhammadu Buhari pursuant to his statutory duty to protect lives and property in the Nigerian Constitution must ensure that justice is done urgently on this tragic incident. No amount of concealment of facts will survive.

Many investors that showed up in the state had to run for their dear lives. Shoprite reportedly came and took to their heels. A delegation from the Computer Village, Lagos came and ran away. Silverbird Cinema came and ran away. The African Development Bank is now financing a mega project of about $150 million dollars but rather than celebrate the revolution, the contractors are killed as criminals. How will the state grow economically with these kinds of primitive and nonchalant mindsets?
• Carl Umegboro, a public affairs analyst and social advocate wrote from Ihiala in Anambra State.

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