Ebonyi State in the news, a rejoinder for rumours on herdsmen, ranching and grazing. By Simon Ekpa

Abakiliki Ebonyi State Road

Reading the article (SOMETHING UMAHI IS NOT TELLING NDI EBONYI) written by Felix Uche Akam, I am left with no option than to exquisitely respond to what I call a conspiracy theory making the news in the media on Ebonyi State and herdsmen.

Ebonyi is now being mischievously tagged the only state in the Eastern Nigeria that is open to herdsmen, grazing and ranches etc by people from same Ebonyi State in the name of politics of calumny. It is not just a conspiracy theory but it is odium, it is obloquy and very calumny that some folks will start to deliberately write fallacies on hearsay. The governor of Ebonyi State had publicly debunked the rumours of ranching and cattle colony on several occasions…one of them is in the link below ...

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has rejected plans by the federal government to establish cattle colony in the state.”

My people must be very careful at this “injury time” of what they are being fed with. The article and other news circulating the media are mare assumptions, speculations and shouldn’t be taken seriously. What borders me a tad is when sane people begin to mislead the public and other already vulnerable citizens into buying their conspiracy theories that there is no smoke without fire.

I have not come across a press statement by the state government approving ranches and colony, why are most oppositions and their affiliates who are hellbent to “take power” from Umahi are circulating updates of ranches and herdsmen without any verifiable links to where Umahi or his cabinet approved or solicited for such?

I also read in the article condemning the governors’ gesture on Muslims, and of course, I understand he is a priest, so, no doubt the conflict of interest. But we must be meticulous of what we pass to the public for consumption and conscious of our self-esteem in condemning the people from both sides.

First, there is no citation whatsoever to where the state government approved ranching in Ebonyi State. Secondly, the writer demonstrated a high level of bitterness by equating Umahi to the emperor of France and Hitler, thereby demonstrating a stand on a particular political opinion and stands than a clergyman who should be known by neutrality.

For the records; Umahi while addressing traditional rulers, presidents of town unions and other relevant individuals and organisations at the Akanu Ibiam International Conference Centre, Abakaliki on Friday, Mr Umahi said the state had no resources to embark on any cattle ranching or colony because it was an agrarian state.

Let us check on conspiracy theory;

“A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes an unwarranted conspiracy, generally one involving an illegal or harmful act carried out by government or other powerful actors. Conspiracy theories often produce hypotheses that contradict the prevailing understanding of history or simple facts. The term is often a derogatory one.”

Ebonyi in the news

“Also According to the political scientist Michael Barkun, conspiracy theories rely on the view that the universe is governed by design, and embody three principles: nothing happens by accident, nothing is as it seems, and everything is connected. Another common feature is that conspiracy theories evolve to incorporate whatever evidence exists against them, so that they become, as Barkun writes, a closed system that is unfalsifiable, and therefore “a matter of faith rather than proof”.Sceptics are among their outspoken critics”

This is exactly what was displayed by Mr Felix in his antecedent article using conspiracy theory, trying to ridicule Umahi government in solidarity to none existence claims and issues.

According to Jesse Walker (2013), he identified five kinds of conspiracy theories:

▪ The “Enemy Outside” refers to theories based on figures alleged to be scheming against a community from without.

▪ The “Enemy Within” finds the conspirators lurking inside the nation, indistinguishable from ordinary citizens.

▪ The “Enemy Above” involves powerful people manipulating events for their own gain.

▪ The “Enemy Below” features the lower classes working to overturn the social order.

▪ The “Benevolent Conspiracies” are angelic forces that work behind the scenes to improve the world and help people.

Culled from a book called The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory (HarperCollins, 2013)

Finally, I am calling on all Ebonyians to be wary of Palacios politicians and their affiliates. It is our responsibility as citizens to call the government to order whenever the need arises. I will join the patriotic who will condemn in the strongest terms any move to have anything ranches and grazing in Ebonyi State and I am yet to read in anywhere through a genuine press release from Umahi that Ebonyi has approved ranching.

Can we now desist from conspiracy theory? It is devilry to continue to deceive vulnerable Ebonyi people? Can we stop this kind of mischievous rumours and falsehood? Is it not healthy for our “virgin state” Ebonyi.

Hon. Simon Ekpa

The new face of Ebonyi State in 2018

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Simon Ekpa

Simon Ekpa LL.M (Master of Laws) is a human rights activist, CEO, senior legal advisor at Ekpa & Co Oy, legal researcher, author, analyst, Finnish politician, Biafra agitator and a Finnish Military reserve.
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