At least nine persons including a pregnant woman have been killed in renewed boundary hostilities between Ofioji, Izzi local government area of Ebonyi State, and Ijutun-Idoru of Obubura council area of Cross River State, residents said.
The spokesman for the police in Ebonyi State, Jude Madu, confirmed the outbreak of hostilities in the area, but said the command had not yet confirmed the death toll.
“We have drafted men to the area to put a stop to the attacks and in the days ahead we will get full details of what happened and if there are any casualties,” Mr. Madu, a deputy superintendent of police, added.
Some residents said the people of Ijutun-Odoru in Cross River invaded Ofioji Izzi community early Friday, shooting sporadically and killing about nine persons.
The head of the community, Nwobegu Mbam, who said he was speaking from hideout, painted a gory picture of how locals were attacked, and called on the state and federal governments to help.
Mr. Mbam said a pregnant woman he identified as Ukamaka Nwifuru was amongst the dead.
”It was very late on Friday night, we had all gone to bed but suddenly a very terrifying sound was heard in our community and in the ensuing confusion, we ran out only to see many houses on fire, and that was when we knew that the people of Cross River have invaded us again. They were shooting our people without mercy; they burnt our houses and carted away our property,” he said.
The Ebonyi state governor, David Umahi, described the incident as “barbaric”.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, said, “The Governor during the week made a passionate appeal to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai over the spate of killings of the people of Ebonyi state by their Cross River counterparts.
“He made the supplication which was well coded by the Chief of Army Staff and what we heard again was this provocative carnage and wanton killing of our people by the Cross River people.”