9 persons including pregnant woman killed in fresh communal war between Ebonyi, Cross River
No fewer than nine persons including a pregnant woman was on Saturday reported killed in a renewed communal war between Ofioji in Izzi local government area of Ebonyi state and Ijutun-Idoru of Obubura council area of Cross River State.
The people of Ijutun-Odoru in Cross River allegedly invaded Ofioji Izzi community shooting sporadically and killing about nine persons. Over 56 houses have equally been burnt down.
The leader of Ofioji community, Chief Nwobegu Mbam who addressed newsman from his hideout where they were taking refuge,painted a gory picture of how they were slaughtered by the Cross River militia whom he described as callous and called on the state and federal governments to come to their aid before they are completely wiped out.
Mbam further said that during the attack, a pregnant woman he identified as Ukamaka Nwifuru allegedlly lost her life while houses belonging to natives of the community were razed to dust by the rampaging fighters.
“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”
Meanwhile, over 58 lives have been lost while more than 1000 houses have been reportedly burnt since 8 years ago that the crisis erupted.
In a swift reaction, the governor David Umahi who spoke to newsman through the Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, described the incident as barbaric and called on the law enforcement agencies to investigate the level of involvement of a former minority leader in the Cross River State House of Assembly, one Alex Irek who had allegedly been indicted by a white paper on the origin of the intractable crisis in the two communities.
Uzor who said it was the height of idiocy to link Ebonyi State governor to the crisis called for the arrest of the former lawmaker for allegedly
arming his constituents to go into war with their neighbouring Ebonyi community.
“The Governor made a passionate appeal to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai over the spate of killing 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 wantom killing of our people by the Cross River people and a former lawmaker could descend so low to say that the crisis came as a result of Governor Umahi’s appeal for help and deployment of more soldiers,” he stated.