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3 Villages Displaced As Many Are Feared Dead

 

In less than 48 hours after the South-East Governors Forum announced formation of its regional security outfit, EbubeAgu, some Ebonyi villages were again in focus yesterday as many people were feared killed, following an attack allegedly carried out by some assailants on the villages at Ngbo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area.

In less than 48 hours after the South-East Governors Forum announced formation of its regional security outfit, EbubeAgu, some Ebonyi villages were again in focus yesterday as many people were feared killed, following an attack allegedly carried out by some assailants on the villages at Ngbo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area.

But the state government controverted survivors of the attack who claimed many people died, saying only four persons lost their lives. 

The latest attack came just two weeks after more than 27 persons were killed in four communities in the state by suspected herdsmen.

While the state government attributed yesterday’s attack to indigenes of Agila community in Benue State, villagers in Ngbo community who spoke to newsmen, described them as herdsmen.

When newsmen visited the affected community, people were seen running away from the affected villages as sporadic gunshots were  still being heard within the area, even as houses were burnt down.

Some victims of the attack were said to be taking refuge in Ukwu-Agba market square in Ngbo community.

The traditional ruler of Umuogodo-Akpu Community in Ngbo, Eze Godwin Ugadu-Ogba, explained that he heard  that herdsmen were killing his people. “I am the king of this community and my name is His Royal Highness, Chief Godwin Ugadu-Ogba. Early morning today (yesterday), I heard rumours that herdsmen were chasing my people, killing them, burning their houses. “So, I called the Chief Security Officer, Leonard Igwe, to invite security men and find out if it was true. Within a few minutes, I also heard the army and other security men were going to the scene of the attack.

“I am expecting that they will visit me before going but I have not seen them. Then, I’m also waiting for information from subjects living nearby that place because I am too big to tell lies. I need correct information.

“So, I am still waiting for their report but what I know is that whether it’s herdsmen or Agila people of Ado Local Government Area of Benue State, my people  are being killed, their houses are burnt and their properties destroyed. That is all I know. “Otuebu Elebe, Iguduobu and Obodocha villages were affected. I think when they heard that the military were coming, they ran back, according to information given to me.  Many people said they saw dead bodies.

“Many people sustained injuries — on their heads, on their bodies and these are according to information given to me and I can say it is true because my house boy who went there came back and reported to me but I’m still waiting for information from the very place that was affected.”

It was gathered that the attackers invaded  Ebele village through Agila community, a border town between Ebonyi and Benue states.

When contacted, the Commissioner for Internal Security, Border Peace, Mr. Stanley Emegha Okoro, confirmed the attack.

Emegha said there was still confusion as to whether the attackers were herdsmen based in Ebonyi or Agila people in Benue State who have an age-long communal dispute with Ngbo community.

However, the state government said in a statement signed yesterday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, insisted that the attackers were not herdsmen.

The statement read:  “Ebonyi State Government has received with dismay violent attacks on the people of Umuogudu Akpu-Ngbo Community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state in the early hours of Monday, April 12, 2021.

“The general public is hereby informed that preliminary investigations have indicated as follows: That the attack was not carried out by herdsmen as being speculated in different quarters.

“That the Government of Ebonyi State is in touch with the leadership of the herdsmen (Miyetti Allah) who denied involvement in the attack.

“That the leadership of the herdsmen has assured government and people of Ebonyi State that they will not on any account perpetrate attack on any part of Ebonyi State.

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