It was a moment of trepidation and agony for the people of Ojiogu and Okpochiri Ukwagba Ngbo in Ohaukwsu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, following an alleged attack that was unleashed on them by their neighbours within the boundary area of Benue and Ebonyi States which left many dead and others injured and missing.
This happened as gunmen invaded a drinking joint at Akwuke, Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State, and shot dead a pregnant woman and a vigilante member.
Apart from the killings, Vanguard reliably gathered that properties worth millions of naira were also destroyed as a result of the ugly incident in Ebonyi.
An eyewitness who spoke on condition of anonymity alleged that the identities of the attackers of Ngbo people in Ebonyi were both Benue indigenes (warlords) and the Ezza living within the boundary areas.
According to him, “I saw the people that attacked us. They were Benue and Ezza indigenes. What happened is usually an annual development that borders on land dispute.
“This dispute is occasioned by the quest for land, especially for farming by both sides of the divide. One person was killed, many were missing, and many injured while many are now displaced.
“It usually happens every year during rainy season. It is a normal land dispute in the area. During the incident, many people scampered for safety. Those people whose houses were destroyed will now become refugees.
“They don’t have anywhere to go to. They will go to their brothers, sisters, and in-laws’ houses to seek refuge. Benue people came together to fight Ngbo people. It is what I saw on the ground.”
In his findings, the Coordinator, Ngbo North Development Centre, DC, Echem Onyekachi stated that seven corpses had so far been discovered following the incident.
“As of now, we have discovered seven corpses, 6 injured persons and so many houses and shops were burnt down in many places. Some people are still missing.
“Before now, we have been having clashes with the people of Ado Local Government Area of Benue State.
So, it is always during this period that this kind of crisis usually occurs.
“I suspect that this crisis was caused by Agila people in Benue State. Anybody calling Ezza is on his or her own. Ngbo people and the Ezza people do not have any dispute or crisis.
I believe that this crisis is caused by Agila people. It is the issue bordering on land.
“Government should write to the National Boundary Commission, NBC, for land demarcation between Ngbo and Agila people. Without government intervention, the crisis will continue. It is over 100 years. It is above my grand father.”
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