Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Two persons have been reportedly killed by suspected warlords in Ndunwampfu area of Igbeagu community in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State during a lingering land dispute between the community and its neighbouring Ukelle in Yala council of Cross River State.
This was disclosed in Igbeagu by a peace committee set up by the Ebonyi State Government to resolve the crisis. The committee is headed by the former vice chancellor of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Prof. Francis Idike.
The two communities have been enmeshed in a land dispute since 2005.
One of the victims body, the committee said, has been missing. It gave the names of the deceased as Dennis Nwogayi whose corpse was said to be missing and David Nkwede, whose remains have been deposited in a mortuary.
Idike told newsmen that the incident occurred when the villagers were clearing roads to the village in order to return to their homes following a directive of the peace committee.
The villagers had deserted their homes in the heat of the lingering war between the two neighbours over a piece of land and had stayed away many months after they were sacked by warlords.
During the period, schools, markets, worship centres, and hospitals were shut down while students and pupils relocated to safer places.
Idike lamented that the fresh killings might bring frustration to the peace efforts being made by the committee to end the crisis.
He explained that wife of one of the victims and two of her children were abducted by the killers but later released two days after.
Chairman said the committee has written to the traditional ruler of Ipollo Ntrigom, Yala, for a meeting with the committee in order to find a lasting solution to the killings and destruction of property.
“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 mutually agreed desire to irrevocably end the conflict between our peoples.
“We suggest military checkpoint at 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 other security agencies,” h said.