…As NUJ members lose mother, other family members
… Ohaukwu LG Boss to the rescue
Ebonyi Police have confirmed that nine persons were slaughtered on Tuesday, following a renewed bloody war between the people of Ngbo in Ohaukwu local government area and Agila, in Ado local government area of Benue State.
The police spokesperson, DSP Loveth Odah in a press release said that on March 10, 2020, the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of Ohaukwu Division, received information through phone call from the vigilante chairman of Umuogudu Akpo Ngbo in Ohaukwu L.G.A of the state.
She said the vigilante chairman reported that the people of Agila numbering about thirty five, attacked the people of Ndiegu Orie in Umuogudu Akpo Ngbo.
Odah said that the Police Command swiftly mobilized to the area and discovered that one Fidelis Ali Omem ‘m’ 70yrs old, one Helen Ali ‘f’ 55yrs old and seven others have been murdered while one Titus Ugadu ‘m’ 50ysr old was seriously wounded and admitted in the hospital.
She further confirmed that some houses and yam bans were set ablaze by the rampaging assailants.
The PPRO said the Commissioner of Police Ebonyi State, CP. Awosola Awotinde: “undertook a tour to the crisis areas where he admonished the people to remain calm and not to carry out any act that will further jeopardize the peace process already initiated by the Government, both at the State and Federal level, especially the anticipated arrival of the National Boundary Adjustment Commission slated to visit Makurdi on 26 March, 2020 for demarcation. As it is an age long dispute that has defiled previous peace initiatives.
“But the Government of the day is working assiduously towards finding a permanent solution to it. Members of the public should not allow themselves to be manipulated and misled by agents of darkness using social media.
“Meanwhile the general area has been reinforced with Police Mobile Force personnel to avert further breakdown of law and order.
“The Command equally wants to use this opportunity to appeal to the good people of Ebonyi State that they should remain calm and law abiding as Police is doing everything possible to ensure safety of lives and property in the troubled communities.
“Distress call phone numbers have been distributed to inhabitants of the areas with more Policemen deployed to enhance security in the area. The State Police Command is very willing more than ever before, to collaborate with public spirited individuals in maintaining law and order and emplacement of total peace in the entire State” she state.
The Ohaukwu local government chairman, Barrister Clement Odah, maintained that the attack was purely an age long boundary clash between the two communities.
He expressed sadness over the issue, while restating that it was nine persons that were slaughtered, stressing that other properties and even livestock were destroyed.
Odah noted that the state government, has intervened by interfacing with the governor of Benue state, the National Boundary Commission, as well as the chairman of Ado, adding that his office is putting in place all necessary measures to restore peace in the area.
He maintained that permanent demarcation is the only thing that can bring lasting solution to the crisis.
Odah called on the National Boundary Commission to demarcate the boundary between the warring communities to avoid further loss of lives and properties.
The council boss disclosed that plans have been mapped out to provide relief materials and alternative shelter for the victim families.
“Each time such thing happens government always respond, both state and local government, to cushion the effect,” Odah added.
He advised his people to remain clam and allow government to work out a permanent solution.
Meanwhile, members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists in the state were victims of the gruesome attack.
An information officer posted to the ministry of Information and State Orientation, Mr. Eugene Ebenyi, lost his mother, this was after his brother was also killed by Agila people few years ago.
While Mrs. Pauline Nwaneri, a reporter attached to the office of Ebonyi first lady, lost four of her family members in the ugly incident.
Some who were killed were also beheaded while those who had their head, some of their body parts were missing.
Nobody was spared, both old, young and children were slaughtered. While properties worth millions of naira were destroyed.