Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki
Ebonyi Governor, David Umahi has banned all forms of wake-keep beyond 10 pm in the state.
He said that in any case where such event must pass the stipulated time, the organisers must seek permission from the local government chairman, who would be held responsible if anything occurs.
The Governor, who announced the ban, also ordered the immediate arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of all those involved in a recent roadblock against his convoy.
The Governor’s convoy was reportedly blocked along Onicha Road in Onicha Local Government Area of the State while on his way back to the State capital from his Uburu, Ohaozara home on Friday night.
The roadblock was said to have been mounted by a group of people observing a wake-keep sequel to a burial ceremony in the area.
While receiving some guests at the State Executive Chambers in Abakaliki, the governor decried the development, saying it is a criminal breach of the law.
He alleged that the culprits made away with a gun belonging to an Army Officer and expressed worries over what they could have done if it had been an ordinary victim that encountered them.
He also detailed his security aides to ensure that all the culprits were identified and brought for prosecution and possible imprisonment.
Umahi narrated: “Yesterday night, I was coming back by 12 midnight. Of course I had to stop over at the College to inspect projects but when we got to Onicha, they blocked the road.
“Even with the litany of Army and the Police and everything, they did not even want to open the road. Then I said they should arrest all of them but most of them ran away. I think they even took a gun of an Army Officer.
“So the Chairman of the Local Government, the House of Assembly members and coordinators, they are working very hard and the SSA on Security: they are all there to sort it out. But I say, all of them will go to prison. So they have to identify them, bring them here and we will prosecute them to show example.
“And I want it to be announced that henceforth, no wake keep should go past 10pm. If you must pass 10pm, take written permission from the Chairman of the Local Government, and both the chairman and the person that requested will be held responsible if any problem occurs”.
“This should be widely circulated and properly announced. My problem is not that they blocked the Governor, but my worry is supposing that it was a smaller person that was passing, who had no Army and Police, they would have robbed the person”.
“That’s what it means. Any other time, the ADC should order for a shoot. It is against the law to block the Governor, and if any one should be killed in the process, it is in accordance with the law.”