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Chijioke Edeoga, the Real Fulani Bandit of Eha-Amufu

By Obetta Simon

My good people of Enugu State, the Bible wonders what it shall profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul. As Isi-Uzo and Enugu people, it is also high time we asked our kinsman and the Enugu Labour Party governorship candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, what it shall profit him if he gains the whole world at
and destroys his community. God has been good to him. Through the mercies of God, destiny helpers, and his marriage to Nkechi, the daughter of Grace Obayi, Joe, Nnia, and Okwy Nwodo’s sister, Edeoga has served as local government council chairman, member of the House of Representatives, special assistant to former president Goodluck Jonathan, commissioner for Local Government Matters (2015-2019), and commissioner for Environment (2019- March 2022). But notwithstanding, he is still that greedy hunter, who uses his toes to scavenge for a cricket whereas he is carrying an elephant on his head.

For many years, Chijioke Edeoga and some of his relations and accomplices tried to dispossess the family of Umu-Ugwu Nwebe Orube of Omulor, Mgbuji Autonomous community in Eha-Amufu of their large expanse of land known as Ala Akpo. But the poor kindred always trounced them on each customary adjudication. But once Chijioke Edeoga became Commissioner, he came after the lands with ferocious intensity instead of using his position to better the lots of his people.

In December 2019, for example, Chijioke Edeoga’s thugs invaded and destroyed cassava, rice, etc. farms of which one of the major victims was one Mrs. Eunice Odogbu, a widow with seven kids. This atrocious incident was reported in the 31st December 2019 edition of Vanguard Newspaper. Mrs. Eunice told reporters during the ensuing protest that the most painful aspect was that the hoodlums and their sponsors chose the harvest period.

In November 2020, Chijioke Edeoga called a meeting of Omulor, Mgbuji people to announce that the land he so much coveted had been taken over by the Enugu State Government for a housing project and publicly threatened to deal with the Umu-Ugwu Nwebe Orube family and show them that he is the Okaa Omee of Enugu State, if they dared near the the land again.

Consequently, the Umu-Ugwu Nwebe Orube petitioned Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on 21st December 2020 because they knew Chijioke Edeoga was just lying. But to their greatest pain, hoodlums sponsored by Chijioke Edeoga invaded the farmlands with guns, machetes, axes, and other dangerous weapons. They assaulted and chased away the poor farmers and widows and proceeded to destroy more than five hectres of farmlands and crops belonging to the harpless rural farmers.

It is known all over Igbo land that willful destruction of farm crops is an abomination. But Chijioke Edeoga does not care. That taboo so committed resulted in spontaneous demonstration in Mgbuji Eha-Amufu, which went viral on the internet. It was also reported in the 9th July 2021 edition of Vanguard Newspaper with the title, “Enugu Farmers Protest Destruction of Farms worth millions”.

In the report, spokesperson of the heartbroken farmers, Elder Silas Omi categorically told Vanguard: “The people behind our ordeal are S.S Edooga, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, and Barrister Chukwuma Ede. Emeka Edeoga, alias Yaro led the boys that destroyed the farms”. A widow, Mrs. Regina Ebe, simply asked Vanguard rather rhetorically: “ What shall we eat tomorrow?”

But as if the destruction of the poor people’s sweats was not enough, Chijioke Edeoga used his power and influence to arrest and lock many of them up for carrying placards. For instance, they arrested Mr. Silas Ofiagu and detained him without end. This prompted a letter by the villagers to the Inspector-General of Police dated 26th July 2021.

Still determined to grab the farmlands, Edeoga sent over 50 thugs to invade the farms on 30th November 2021 at about 8:25am. By the time the dust cleared, the sight was pathetic as all their labours were totally wasted. Rice farmers, including those already arranged on the threshing mat were made a burnt offering to the goddess of avarice.

Although the poor farmers instituted lawsuits such as Suit No. OB/4/2021, which had Chief Shedrach Edeoga, Chijioke Edeoga, James Odoebe, Sameul Ani, Innocent Omeri, Barrister Chukwuma Ede and Ejike Odanwu as defendants, while Elias Ofiagu also sued Chijioke Edeoga, Deputy Supritendent of Police Suleiman Abubakar, Inspector Micahel Chinedu Akalele, for his illegal detention, they did not have money and influence to pursue the case.

Meanwhile, many who have read or heard about the Fulani bandits killings in Eha-Amufu have not paused to ask themselves, why always Eha-Amufu communities out of all the communities in Isi-Uzo LGA? Chijioke Edeoga, brought the ant-infested wood upon his people out of his greed and desperate bid to grab people’s lands and to be in total control of the economic trees such as the timbers, which yields well over N50m per annum, but which Edeoga and his cabal neither accounted for nor cared to open a bank account for the Town Union to manage. This is apart from secret land deals with herdsmen bandits. But Chijioke Edeoga did not know that it is one thing to give the monkey some water, but another kettle of fish altogether to retrieve the calabash. The herdsmen bandits menace have aggravated because every efforts by the communities to respossess their lands is vehemently resisted by the militia herders, who see it as an attempt to rob them of their own share of the deal after helping Edeoga to dispossess communities of their lands and warding off their local and Benue competitors in the illegal exploitation of Eha-Amufu and Benue resources such as timber.

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