Posted by Uchenna Inya | 15 June 2019 | 1,384 times
Two persons have been killed in a fresh wave of the lingering crisis between the people of Igbeagu, Izzi local government area of Ebonyi State and their neighbouring Ukelle, Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State. In reaction, the peace committee set up to resolve the crisis said it has reported the fresh killings to the military cantonment in Nkwegu, Ebonyi State.
The two neighbouring communities who had been living in peace for over 100 years before 2015, have been at war for 4 years over boundary matters, with many killed and properties worth billions of naira destroyed. Schools, markets and hospitals have remained closed with students and pupils relocated to safer places following the persistent crisis. The National Boundary Commission (NBC) had visited the two communities last year with a view to demarcating the boundary to end the crisis but have not done so. However, the Ebonyi State Government recently set up a peace committee headed by Prof. Francis Idike, a former Vice-Chancellor of the state university, EBSU to resolve the crisis.
The committee announced yesterday that two persons from Igbeagu community have been killed and a body of one of the victims missing since the killings occurred. The committee gave the names of the deceased as Dennis Nwogayi whose corpse is said to be missing and David Nkwede whose corpse has been deposited in the mortuary. Idike told journalists in Igbeagu that the killings occurred at Ndunwampfu when the villagers were clearing roads to the village in order to return to their homes following the directive of the peace committee months after being sacked from their homes as a result of the crisis. Idike, who lamented the killings which he described as frustrations to the peace efforts put in place by the committee to end the crisis, explained that the wife of one of the victims and two of her children were abducted by the killers but were released two days later.
He added that soldiers were escorting the villagers while clearing the roads to their homes when one the victims decided to harvest his economic trees and was besieged by gunmen who ordered him to kneel down, shot him and abducted his wife and two children that were later released. He announced that the committee has reported the killings to the military cantonment in the state and that the army has vowed to fish-out the perpetrators. The peace committee chairman explained that the committee has written to the traditional ruler of Ipollo Ntrigom, Yala for a meeting with the committee to find lasting solution to the killings and destruction of properties.
The letter, which was made available to journalists, reads in parts: “We, after obtaining the clearance of our government, request that we have the maiden meeting of our delegates to initiate discussion on ways and means of achieving our mutual agreed desire to irrevocably end the conflict between our peoples. “We suggest Military Checkpoint as the venue in the understanding that you will make appropriate arrangement therein for the meeting. Our delegates will be escorted to the venue by the military, the police and DSS.” (New Telegraph)
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