Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Residents of two communities of Allah and Onugwa in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State have alleged that they have been chased out of their ancestral homes as a result of a long standing land dispute with Odekpe community.
The fleeing residents, some of whom are now taking refuge in towns of neighbouring state including Asaba, the capital of Delta State, said they can no longer return to their homes unless the Anmabra State Government and the Federal Government guaranteed their security.
Speaking from their hideout in Asaba, the Secretary to the Attah Okakwu of Allah, Mr. David Uzor decried that indigenes and residents of the two communities were constantly being attacked, lamenting that there was no single building still standing in the troubled communities.
“The latest chapter began on the 9th of January this year following series of attacks on our communities. The next day they returned to remove all the boundary beacons planted on the directives of the Anambra State Government.
“The eleven Igala speaking communities in Allah and Onugwa have initiated several peace mission to end the crisis with the larger Odekpe community who have a population ten times our size but they will not allow peace to reign,” Uzor alleged.
He further alleged that two members of their communities were brutally attacked recently by a rival community, noting that the issue has been brought to the attention of the Anambra Police Command and other relevant authorities in the state yet nothing was being done to end the crisis.
Uzor also said a petition has been sent to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu for his intervention before the situation escalates to a full blown war.
“As we speak all the houses in Allah have been razed to the ground and many youths and the aged have lost their lives.
“We appeal to the Federal Government to investigate what is happening in our communities and urgently come to our rescue.
“Even policemen on peacekeeping mission were allegedly attacked by youths from Odekpe and one ASP lost his life in the incident,” he added.
Effort made to reach Odekpe community through two mobile telephone numbers given to newsmen by one of the refugees, proved abortive as at press time as calls and messages to the numbers were not answered.