Obinna Odogwu, Awka
The age-long communal war over a piece of land between Allah/Onugwa and Odekpe communities in Anambra West council area of Anambra State took another dimension on Thursday as the Divisional Police Officer [DPO] in charge of the council area and two of his men were reportedly abducted by suspected warlords at Odekpe community.
The DPO had led a team of police officers to the two warring communities to restore peace following the renewed hostilities that claimed seven lives from both communities.
While Allah/Onugwa people said that four persons were killed on their side with 150 buildings destroyed, Odekpe claimed that three of their members were killed and three buildings touched.
A resident of Allah/Onugwa, Uzor David, told Daily Sun that the DPO first led his team to his community and after assessing the level of carnage in the community, also proceeded to Odekpe to also carryout similar assessment.
He said that stakeholders from the area including the representative of Anambra East and West in the National Assembly, Chinedu Obidigwe; the Commissioner for Lands, Bonaventure Enemali; and a traditional ruler from the area, Igwe Pius Omachonu, had met and resolved that the police should embark on a fact-finding mission to the areas.
“After they deliberated on many issues yesterday, they resolved that mobile policemen should be sent to go and view the area and bring information back to them.
“Those mobile policemen that came were many. They passed through Allah/Onugwa, they saw what happened. They proceeded to Odekpe. Our place is not that motorable. When they got to Inoma community, they stopped.
“They packed their vehicles and picked motorcycles. They passed through our place and on getting to Odekpe; when the people sighted them, knowing that they are mobile policemen, they started shooting at them.
“The policemen had no option than to fire back. Two people fell down from Odekpe side based on the information we got. They captured three policemen now. The DPO representing all of us is in their custody.
“As I am talking to you now, he is unconscious. Somebody called me to tell me that the DPO may not survive it. The other two mobile policemen are still in their custody. They are dealing with them”, he narrated.
Efforts to reach the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Haruna Mohammed, a Superintendent of Police, proved abortive as he did not pick calls to his phone. He had, about two days ago, confirmed that there were clashes between the two communities.