By Sunday Agbo, Abakaliki
Tension escalated over the weekend following the gruesome murder of an indigene of Ngbo community in Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi state, days after four Ngbo villagers were said to have been beheaded at Ukwuagba by yet-to-be-apprehended warlords from Benue state.
A source from the community told Orient Daily on Sunday that victims of last week’s killing were ambushed and killed by Agila people. He, however, blamed the latest bloodletting to the activities of saboteurs in their village whom he claimed supplied their enemies with information that helped them successfully carry out the attack.
“Agila people had a field day to attack the people of Ngbo at Ukwuagba owing to the faulty constitution of local warriors by the former chairman. The change in constitution of local warriors did not gone down well with community members and some of them sold out to the Agila opponents”, he said.
According to him, the Agila people were able to penetrate Ukwuagba community because the saboteurs disclosed to them (Agila people) that the warriors that were supposed to be at the border areas were not there and this enabled them to launch a successful attack.
“No (peace) committee member was killed, rather the four persons killed were villagers. They were killed after their houses were set ablaze and some of their properties carted away. One Nwoba who went to his farm unaccompanied by the local security was killed on Saturday by the Agila people, in addition to the four that were killed and beheaded last Wednesday.
Orient Daily gathered that the latest killings by suspected warlords from the neighbouring, Agila community in Ardo local government area of Benue state has also dealt a big blow to the ongoing peace deal aimed at ending the long-drawn boundary war between the two states.
Recall that the deputy governor of Ebonyi Dr. Kelechi Igwe and his Benue counterpart, Chief Benson Abonu, penultimate week, inaugurated three committees – the inter-community peace committee, Ohaukwu/Ado Inter-Local Governments Peace Committee and a Technical Committee after a peace meeting. The committees whose members were drawn from the National Boundary Commission, Office of Surveyor General of the Federation and Surveyors General of Ebonyi and Benue states were expected to work towards ending the boundary war and killings.
However, the peace process suffered a setback barely a week after when four villagers from Ngbo were reportedly ambushed, killed and beheaded while two others sustained severe injuries.
Shortly after he received the tragic news on Thursday, Ebonyi state governor, David Umahi, summoned a stakeholders’ meeting of people from the area and ordered the arrest of the chairman, Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi state, Hon. Clement Odah and 39 others over the killing. A visibly angry Governor Umahi reportedly ordered the police and the Department of State Services in the state to arrest stakeholders from the area and interrogate them over the crisis.
“Those arrested will be going to the police and DSS every day over the matter after their bail,” he said.
The governor accused the stakeholders of causing the crisis. “I am not a fool. These things are done by you people. There is no other person that did it. How can you say that these people killed were ambushed? I have asked them to audit all your resources, those of you from Ohaukwu local government area.”