Ebonyi Communal Crisis Claims 2 Lives, Houses, Crops Destroyed

    Governor Umahi

    By NWOGHA ANDY ANDY, Abakaliki

    Two persons have been confirmed killed and property worth millions of Naira destroyed over a lingering boundary dispute between Nguji Ojiegbe Onunwakpu and Ndiegede, both in Igbeagu autonomous community, Izzi Local Government Area, Ebonyi State..

    One of the deceased from clashes between Nguji Ojiegbe Onunwakpu and Ndiegede, both in Igbeagu autonomous community, Izzi Local Government Area, Ebonyi State..

    The two villagers it was gathered had been on long time internal rift over a portion of land which it’s Genesis was traced back to 2012 when the people of Ndiegede was accused to had encroached Nguji Ojiegbe portion of the land which they denied claiming that  the land belong to them.

    It is recall that on the penultimate weekend that the state Commissioner for Border, Peace and Conflict Resolution,Hon. Stanley Okoro Emegha, represented by the Head of Department of the ministry,Hon.Ifeanyichukwu Igurube, and stakeholders of Igbeagu Community visited and inspected the contentious land, thereafter, ordered the two warring groups to steer clear of the land until government declared it’s stand adding that going contrary to the directive would attract government seizing the contentious portion.

    However, two persons have been confirmed killed after the visit among 24-year-old,Mr.Sunday Odom, a native of Ogbodo Onunwakpu and another man identified as Mr. Emmanuel Uguru from Ndiegede village.

    Narrating the ugly incident, the bereaved father of one of the victims and native of Ogbodo Onunwakpu,Mr.Odom Abama, regretted that his son who is neither of the two warring villages was killed on a cold blooded manner.

    He explained that on the fateful day, that his son went to farm to meet his sister who was harvesting cassava within the boundary area, where both villages shared boundary but was alleged to had been attacked by Ndiegede youth and shot at his waist that led to his death.

    According to him,” I was in my farm that day afternoon when a report came to me that my 24-year-old son with name,Mr.Sunday Odom, who just married with one year old daughter was shot when he visited our farm to assist those who were there to harvest cassava”.

    “Then, I asked of his whereabout, the person said that he had been rushed to the hospital but later died leaving his little girl with nobody to care for and we are begging State government to come to our aid” he appealed

    Also Speaking, Ogbodo Onunwakpu Village Head and member Eze-in-Council Igbeagu Community,Chief Mbam Nwambam Ekpegbe, bemoaned the irreparable loss done to his village, noting that though Ndiegede once had similar boundary dispute with his people years back but had settle and wondered why his innocent kinsman was attacked by the villagers.

    Chief Mbam Ekpem condemned the unusual action of the youth for raising arms against their brother village over an issue already before the government, appealing the state Governor,Engr.David Umahi to rescue the people who had made several attempt to delinate the land but to no avail.

    Narrating one of the victims whose house and rice farm were destroyed,Mr.Ominyi Febian, he hinted that the crisis has been between his village,Nguji and their Ndiegede brothers who want to forcefully take over their land because they have personalities in government, noting that the boundary disagreement has lingered for over nine years and had attracted traditional council of the community, including traditional ruler and his cabinets which to ensure peace permanently returned to the area, divided their land into two portions and gave Ndiegede some part but they insisted taking the whole area as theirs.

    His words,”On that fateful Wednesday,I was coming from farm when I heard gun shot and I quickly rush back from where I was coming from until normalcy returned to the area and on inspection,we discovered that all our houses within the Azungele area has been raised down”.

    “My own buildings were destroyed including all the property inside the room and they went to my rice farm and cut down rice stems “.

    Lending his voice, Secretary Igbeagu Stakeholders Forum,Engr. Jonas Ibaki condemned the action and described it as barbaric and inhumane.

    He frowned upon the people who despite the traditional council’s intervention declined to make peace, even until the Internal Security, Border Peace and Conflict Resolution Commissioner visit, did not exercise patience to know government decision but resorted to Internal crisis.

    “I must commend the Commissioner for Internal Security,Border Peace and Conflict Resolution Hon.Stanley Emegha for his intervention, though, it is unfortunate that after our traditional ruler of Igbeagu autonomous community effort to bring this matter to an end it lingered to the stage”.

    “Regrettably,we are here facing Ukele war and our Governor have had sleepless nights inorder to bring peace at the border, unfortunately, after few weeks of the Commissioner’s visit with tension dounced that peace had finally achieved;a boy from a nearby village called Ogbodo Onunwakpu, few distance from the warring villages was shut dead”.

    “We don’t know what happened but According to their report, those that killed him are from Ndiegede, and these are people who inter marry and do everything together as brothers and sisters”.

    One of those injured that the from clashes between Nguji Ojiegbe Onunwakpu and Ndiegede, both in Igbeagu autonomous community, Izzi Local Government Area, Ebonyi State..

    “So,we are calling the state government to quickly intervene and show a clear boundary to the two villages which is the solution to the crisis for two persons have been said to had been killed”.

    On his part, Nguji Ojiegbe village Head,Chief Innocent Igbahu told us that after the Commissioner’s visit that his village received court order which they were awarded twenty million for said trespass of their land and award of thesame land to acclaimed group.

    According to him, after reporting to the office of the Commissioner of the new development, the group invaded their farm land the area government warned against trespassing and that resulted to the recent hostility that has claimed life.

    Meanwhile, traditional ruler Igbeagu autonomous community, His Royal Highness, Eze Micheal Ogbonna Ukwa, faulted action of both villages for taking arms against each other and for impatience to hear from the state government after their intervention.

    The traditional ruler while commending the team for their support and effort in bringing permanent peace in the area,urged them to quickly demarcate the two villages which would serve as a permanent solution to the rift as that would help the community to tackle any side that trespass the boundary for easier checkmating their excesses.

    Meanwhile, Authentic News reports that over ten bundles of zinc, gallons of red oil, others house properties were allegedly carted away and houses numbering more than seven destroyed with few other razed down within Nguji Ojiegbe village.


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