By Sunday Agbo, Abakaliki
Leaders of Ndiegu Okpera, Echera community in Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi state have threatened wage a revenge war against the Enyigba community in Abakaliki local government area should their three missing boys suspected to be held hostage in the community not return alive.
Mr. Andrew Nte, a father to one of the missing boys issued the threat when the Christians Association of Nigeria, led by Fr. Abraham Nwali, alongside community stakeholders paid a condolence visit to the bereaved family of Mr. John Nweke whose seven family members were burnt in a bus in which they were traveling by hoodlums suspected to come from the rival community.
Nte, who was bewildered expressed strong displeasure over his missing son, who was among the three taken hostage by the rival community.
According to him, he had established contact with the hoodlums when they used their phones to call them informing them that the three boys were in their (hoodlum’s) custody, but regretted that the phone number was later switched off.
He appealed to the Ebonyi state government to come to their aid. According to him, the community officially reported the matter to the state government in the interest of peace while awaiting the release of their children, but threatened that, should the missing boys not be released, the community would revenge.
Speaking earlier, Echera town union president, Hon. Sunday Nwonu disclosed to the state government that three boys were currently missing in the area, alleging that those missing victims were being held by their rival community.
According to Nwonu, the community was in tears over the loss of eight of their people, the seven fire victims and the burnt vehicle driver, Mr. Udoka Nwafor.
“We are in tears for the loss of our sisters and brothers. That fateful day, about eight of them from this community were burnt alive.
“Three persons are currently missing. Their parents are all here and reports already at hand are that the three boys are tied somewhere in their land. We report to you, the religious leaders and the state government to tell them to release those boys.
“We know we are living together with Abakaliki people but we always warn our people that nobody should touch any of them because of the case. We only want to use this opportunity to tell our governor that if those people missing are not released, we shall fight back.
“If the death of the seven family members of Mr. John Nweke and the driver, Udoka Nwafor from this community will bring a lasting peace in Ebonyi state, it will be of a great joy but we need those missing boys to be freed by those holding them”.
Meanwhile, the senior special assistant to the governor on religions and welfare matters, who also doubles as the state chairman, Christians Association of Nigeria, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Abraham Nwali, assured the people that his team would take the information to the governor.
Fr. Nwali also announced that CAN would sponsor the bereaved matriculant, Sunday Nweke, who lost his relatives that came to identify with him during his matriculation throughout his current university education.