10 killed as armed men attack Ebonyi community

Ebonyi State Map
Ebonyi State Map

Armed persons on Saturday night attacked a community in Ebonyi State killing at least 10 people.

The reason for the attack and suspected attackers were yet to be identified at the time of this report.

The attack occurred at Ukwuagba in Mgbo community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area.

The Chairman of the local government, Clement Odah, announced the attack when he received the deputy governor of the state, Kelechi Igwe, at the council headquarters.

The deputy governor was in the council to hold a stakeholders’ meeting over the incident.

Mr Odah told the deputy governor that before Saturday’s attack, four other persons travelling to Effium from neighbouring Enugu State also went missing in the area

The four missing persons were on their way to a burial ceremony in Effium on August 27 when they went missing.

He said they were among 30 persons travelling for the ceremony when they had an accident at resthouse junction along Enugu-Abakaliki Expressway.

According to him, all the travellers were brought to Ezzamgbo General Hospital for treatment. But the four of them were in a hurry to get to the burial so they left without the others.

He said that when the other 26 left for the burial, they noticed a roadblock at Agbaesa in Mgbo where some youth tried to intercept them. But they managed to bulldoze their way through the roadblock and got to the burial.

However, they did not see the other four and since then their whereabouts have remained unknown.

Mr Odah said that while the council and stakeholders were trying to investigate the matter in conjunction with security agencies, Ukwuagba Community in Mgbo was attacked on Saturday night.

“Yesterday, Ukwagba community in Mgbo was attacked and nine persons were killed and later another person died. They were massacred in their homes,” he said.

Deputy Governor Speaks

Reacting, Mr Igwe frowned at the fresh violence and threatened to arrest and imprison anyone in the area found complicit in the matter.

He gave stakeholders of the area 24 hours to produce the killers of the 10 people and the missing persons in the area.

“I am very embittered in my spirit. The first civilian governor from this state and the grandfather of Ebonyi State is from this local government area. And right inside here, I can see about seven past local government area chairmen.

“It is a shame on all of you. We did not come to paint pictures or clap for you. Do not deceive the government. It is pure falsehood, you know what is happening to yourselves, you are killing yourselves.

“You should know people who are causing trouble in your domain. The traditional rulers should be able to fish out people who are causing trouble. We have not come with the message of comfort but to sound a note of warning.

“We are tired of hearing sentimental stories of what is happening in Ohaukwu. What we want is action. Some people wrote an undertaking to the government. Most of you are here and for those who are not part of it, we will make you part of it. Because they had agreed that if anything as tragic as this happens in Ohaukwu again we should hold them responsible.

“All the people that signed that undertaking must produce those people that killed and those that waylaid the people going to Effium. You can set up a vigilante to do that. Enough is enough. We must stop playing games,” he fumed suggesting the violence was due to communal conflicts.

Troubled Community

The reasons for Saturday night’s violence in Mgbo community is yet to be ascertained.

However, the community has in the past been enmeshed in intermittent communal clashes with their Agila neighbours from Benue State.

The clashes which have spanned over 100 years are said to have caused hundreds of deaths.

Also, over a decade ago, the Mgbo also had land disputes with their Effium neighbours with many lives lost on both sides. The state government has, however, managed to contain that dispute.

There were also unconfirmed reports that families of the missing four persons had threatened to retaliate if their relatives were not provided.

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