The decades-old boundary dispute between Igbeagu Community in Ebonyi State and Ukele Community in Cross River State has claimed the life of an SS3 Student.
The victim, 17-year-old Ojoko Friday, of Ndinwampfu village, Igbeagu community in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, was allegedly beheaded by warlords said to be from neighbouring Cross River community.
PREMIUM TIMES could not independently very the claims that the killers were from Ukelle Community.
The deceased, this newspaper learnt, was an SS3 student of Noble Secondary School Ndiechi, Igbeagu.
He was said to be returning from a farm with his family when he was murdered.
The people of Igbeagu community and their neighbours at Ukelle in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State have been at war over land rights
In the lingering war, many people have been killed while property worth millions of naira have been destroyed.
Recently, youth from both communities brokered a peace pact after several failed efforts by the governments of the two states.
The peace initiative now appears to be threatened because of the schoolboy’s murder.
A village head in the victim’s community, John Ede, said that the incident happened on Friday.
According to him, the boy was coming back from the farm with his parents and siblings on December 7, 2019, when assailants ambushed them.
“The parents and his siblings escaped the attack, but the boy was unlucky, as he was the only person they succeeded in capturing,” Mr Ede said.
Mr Ede said the villagers had been going about their legitimate businesses since they were informed of a peace deal.
The village head said they were persuaded to lay down their arms and that the rival Ukelle warlords had accepted to make peace.
“When the information came that members of a family from our village were attacked that evening, we informed some stakeholders that contacted the military post at Ipolo area who helped to trace the victim but found his decapitated body.”
Reacting to the killing, the traditional ruler of Igbeagu Autonomous Community, Eze Ukwa, asked that the killers be apprehended and handed over to the police.
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