UPDATED: Many dead as herdsmen storm Ebonyi communities

Members of Egedegede, Obegu and Amuzu communities in the Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, were on Monday evening, killed by suspected herdsmen, who invaded the communities.

While a resident of the community who did not want his name in print said 18 persons were killed by the herdsmen, another resident said 10 were killed.

“We are mourning; we are in serious mourning since late hour of Monday. Herdsmen invaded our communities and massacred our people. As we speak, 18 persons were slaughtered like animals. They attacked many of our people, burnt vehicles, motorcycles and looted our properties”, the resident said.

He said among those killed was a Priest in the Methodist Church, whose car was equally burnt to ashes.

Chairman of Ishielu local Government Area, Hon. Sunday Eze and Commissioner for Business Development in the state, Dr. Stephen Odo, who hail from the local government, led a team of security agents to the communities and condoled  with the families of those killed in the invasion, on Tuesday.

They assured that government would take proactive measures to investigate the invasion.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Loveth Odah, confirmed the incident.

“The Commissioner of Police delegated a team of Policemen for on the spot assessment because of peace talks going on in the town. So, the Commissioner of Police delegated them; Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations and others went for on the spot assessment to enable us get the detail of the report. So, they are yet to come back.

“We are still waiting for our men to come back to tell us their findings. I am already preparing a press release on the incident but their report too will assist us in giving you detail information about it”, Odah said.

Meanwhile, Ebonyi State, Governor David Umahi,  has visited the war-torn communities in  Effium and Ezza Effium and assure them of government’s commitment towards ensuring lasting peace.

Umahi, also visited Ishielu LGA to ascertain the current situation of the incident and condole with the family of the deceased.

He  stressed that the stakeholders arrested in connection with the crisis will remain in detention until peace returns to the area.

The Governor who stated this during the second round of the meeting which started on Monday at the Christian Ecumenical Centre, Abakaliki added that if the killings continued, his administration will charge those indicted for murder.
He said: “The killings should stop from today; if it continues, I will hunt for the leaders and charge them for murder. Enough is enough.
“You have a lot to lose if the crisis continues. You can’t call for genocide against the people. The ring road project may be delayed if the crisis continue.
“When you see evil, you have to speak out. I commend those of you who have done that. I am pleading with you. I am begging you. There’s a way you will continue to kill, the State will rise against you.

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“I feel so sad. Let us stop this killing. I have no money to rebuild houses. If am to do that, it will be in Ezza – Ezilo. The people we are holding, we will continue to hold them.”
The meeting ended with a strong commitment by both sides, Effium and Ezza Effium to live together in peace as they apologized to themselves and to the State Government for the carnages that took place in their respective communities.
“We want to apologise to the State Government for the crisis in our communities. We promise to live together in peace. We say no more to crisis and war.”


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