By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI—GOVERNOR David Umahi of Ebonyi State yesterday, threatened to stop the salaries of any traditional ruler, who fails to furnish the state government with the location and records of mining sites in the state.
The governor who handed down the warning during the handing over of staff of office to some traditional rulers in three local government areas of the state at the Akanu Ibiam International Conference Centre, Abakaliki, stressed that his administration would not allow the future of Ebonyi children to be sacrificed on the altar of greed and selfishness.
He also warned that his administration would sanction any traditional ruler and community leader, who allows cases of armed robbery and kidnapping to prevail in their respective communities.
He said: “Let me start by congratulating the traditional rulers that just received staff of office. I have been receiving text messages against the three traditional rulers, but I must discharge my constitutional duties; if you don’t like it, you can go to court and seek redress.
“We can’t eat the future of our children; we have to act fast before the future of our children is eroded. We can’t allow that. So let me warn the traditional rulers; you have to submit all the mining points in your communities.
“You should have a meeting and let all traditional leaders know of my warning, because in February (this month), I will stop their salaries and then in March, I will be itching towards their staff of office. It is very important all the mining sites with their phone numbers and location must be made available to us.
“We have been having battles with those who are mining in Ebonyi state without paying their levies to us; these people are working under the cover of the traditional rulers. We want to let you know that I mean business. I want the chairman of the traditional ruler’s council to note that in the month of February, any traditional ruler that fails to give me all the mining points in his community, I will stop his salary and I will be itching towards his staff of office.”
The governor also warned community leaders against covering of criminals in their respective communities.
“We have been saying that any community that we have cases of kidnap or armed robbery attacks we will query the traditional rulers and the community union leaders. We want to emphasise that we are not doing badly in term of taking care of our traditional rulers so they must discharge their duties without fear or favour,” he asserted.