Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
One person has been killed and about four persons abducted but later freed in fresh crisis between the people of Oso-Edda, Amasiri and Nde Ndukwe communities in Ebonyi State.
Also, properties worth millions of naira were allegedly destroyed in the crisis.
Oso-Edda is in Afikpo South Local Ggovernment Area while Amasiri and Nde Ndukwe communities are in Afikpo North Local Government Area.
The three communities have been having a dispute over a land at their boundary for years but it has been managed and curtailed from turning violent till this week.
How it started
Details of how the clashes started were still sketchy at the time of this report but sources in the area alleged that the Nde Ndukwe and Amasiri people invaded farm settlement villages in Ọsọ-Edda and started destroying houses, farm produce and every property in sight.
The invasion started on Monday and lasted till Wednesday when security agencies stepped in to restore normalcy, it was gathered.
It was learnt that one Chima Orji of Idima Autonomous Community in Afikpo South Local Government was was brutally murdered and beheaded.
The head was taken away by the invaders and is yet to be found as at the time of this report.
Worst hit is Okporojo village in Oso-Edda which is said to have been reduced to rubble and ruins.
Four persons were abducted but were later freed after a peace meeting organised by the Chairpersons of both councils in conjunction with some Monarchs and Head of Security Agencies in the area.
Chairperson of Afikpo South Local Government Area, Chima Ekumankama, confirmed the incident in a statement.
He described the situation as pathetic and painful and called on the entire Edda clan to remain law abiding.
He said the situation has been brought under control by security agencies in the State.
“I Hon. Prince Chima Ekumankama wishes to call on the good people of Okporojo, Oso and Edda Clan in general to remain calm and law abiding over the unwarranted invasion of Okporojo in Oso and other part of Edda Clan by our neighbours of Nde Ndukwe and Amasiri of Afikpo North LGA where properties, farm produce worth millions of naira and a life were lost.”
“The situation is pathetic and painful, thus while I sympathise with all those affected, I implore the good people of Oso and Edda in general to remain calm and go about their lawful businesses as the situation is under control,” he said.
Mr Ekumankama said “it is very wrong and barbaric for anyone to take another’s life under whatever guise.”
He implored security agencies to deal decisively with anyone found breaking the laws of the land.
Chairperson of Afikpo North Local Government Area, Uche Ibiam, confirmed the release of the abducted persons.
He said his administration is working with security agencies to contain the situation and prevent a re-occurrence.
Police spokesperson, Chris Anyanwu, said he was waiting for report from the Police in the area before commenting on the incident.
“Once I get the authenticated information about what is going on there then I will react,” he said.
Call for Peace
Meanwhile, an indigene of Amasiri community, Mr Okochi Emmanuel, called for peace between the two communities.
He said Amasiri and Edda people had peacefully lived together for centuries adding that the crisis was unnecessary.
“Though there is this boundary dispute that has lasted for decades, it has always been resolved amicably. The just resuscitated crisis which has led to the loss of lives and properties is just not necessary”
“I can categorically say that during my stay in the village, we farmed in that land that is causing problem for years. Edda people were also farming in the same land.
“We were as brothers and sisters and nobody knew we were from different communities. Sometimes we exchange food and proceeds from our respective farm lands as a sign of love and appreciation to God for a bumper harvest,” he said.
Mr Okochi lamented that the brotherly love between the two communities is being threatened by the crisis.
“Now I cannot travel home because I will surely pass through Edda while Okoro Isaac Okoro and others cannot travel home from Abakaliki because he must pass through Amasiri. This is not just what we needed at this time when we have a common enemy, economic hardship.
“Edda people have shops at Orie Amasiri and Amasiri people have shops at Nkwo Edda. Our businesses have just suffered setback for reasons we can settle on a round-table.”
“I want to call on my beloved people of Amasiri and Edda to sheath their sword. Government and stakeholders must intervene now. They should not wait to count the skulls and wasted millions of naira. Let there be peace in the land,” he said.