From Emmanuel Uzor, Abakaliki
Two people were shot dead yesterday and 10 houses burnt, property worth millions of naira looted while more than 150 persons were displaced in renewed hostilities between Ochienyim community in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi and Adadama in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State.
A community leader in Ochienyi and relation to one of the deceased, Mr. Samuel Nomeh gave the names of those killed as Elijah Nomeh and Agashi Onuenyim. Nomeh alleged that at about 9:00am, some militants numbering over 20, fully armed with sophisticated weapons allegedly invaded their community, shot sporadically, burnt houses and looted property of the people of Ochienyim.
“This is the fourth in the series of attacks by the people of Adadama community against our people since after the Assistant Inspector General of Police in-charge of zone 6 called a meeting of the two communities and called for a cease fire.”
Nomeh further recalled that on October 24, 2015, the militants also attacked the community, shot a police officer, burnt 20 houses and abducted some persons from the community.
Another displaced victim and a mother of seven who is currently taking refuge in a primary school building with her children, Mrs. Mary Ogeji regretted that in all the attacks, her people remained calm with the hope that relevant authorities would come to their rescue.
She further pointed out that no fewer than 600 persons have been displaced by the communal crisis and called on the state government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come to the aid of the displaced persons.
When contacted, Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe said investigations into the attack were on-going and urged the people to remain calm while the state government concludes its investigation.
Dr. Igwe, who is the chairman of the Inter-boundary Committee, said they will soon visit the area to ascertain the level of destruction and meet with displaced persons.
Ebony State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP George Okafor said the command was yet to ascertain if the persons were dead or not.
“The chairman of Ochienyim community reported that one Elijah Nomeh is missing and men of the command have combed the whole buffer zone and there is no trace of the said person or any of his wears to indicate he has been killed. For now, we presume he was abducted by the people of Adadama.”
The PPRO stated that the command has communicated to its Cross River counterpart to ensure the rescue of the missing person.