New Telegraph

December 6, 2023

Ebonyi govt, victims differ on killers’ identities

Ebonyi State government and the people of Ngbo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area have continued to differ on those behind the killings in Umuoguduakpu community on Monday. Gunmen had attacked four villages in the community on Monday, killed some villagers and burnt many houses and other valuables. While the government insisted that the attack was launched by warlords from the Agila community in the Ardo Local Government Area of Benue State, the Ngbo community said herdsmen masterminded the attack and killings.

In a communiqué issued yesterday by the Amalgamated Ngboejeogu Youth (ANY) at the end of its emergency meeting over the killings, signed by some of its leaders – Prince Uche Ali Ega (President General), Comrade Samuel Okpor (Secretary General), and Mr. Michael Odo (Legal Adviser) among others – the community said “herdsmen numbering over 100, armed to the teeth with most sophisticated weapons, in the early hours of Monday 12th April, 2021 invaded, maimed and unleashed an unimaginable terror on the people of Ngboejeogu from the Umugadu Umuogudu Akpu axis.

“The gruesome attacks led to the horrific deaths of so many known citizens of Ngboejeogu. Whereas search is still being conducted in the affected areas to ascertain the level of damage and deaths recorded, over 12 lacerated bodies have been recovered while the whereabouts of many persons are still unknown. “Over 56 houses, yam bans, business places/shops were either burnt to ashes or utterly destroyed by the Fulani attackers. The attacks mostly affected four villages in the Umuogudu Akpu community axis of the Ngbo clan namely: Ebele Umugadu, Otuebu Umugadu, Ndiegu Ibe-Agba and Odebo.

The attackers were visibly sighted and heard by many survivors. “The language they spoke was no other than Fulfulde, the Fulani known language and their looks (appearances) and modus operandi were still the same as that of Fulani. Phone calls made to the mobile phones belonging to some of the slain victims were received by the attackers who spoke Fulfulde language with a heavy Fulani accent.

“While we acknowledge the presence of security agencies who came to intervene in the ugly situation, we frown at any attempt by any individual, group or government to twist the story to serve any political and or economic interests.” Reacting to the claim of the Ngboejeogu youths, the state government insisted that it was the people of Agila who attacked and killed Ngbo people.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha, disclosed this while speaking with journalists during the distribution of 100 security motorcycles to security agents at the old Government House, Abakaliki. He said: “Both herdsmen and Agila people are not friendly to us but I tell you, the attack is coming from Agila people. A lot of investigation has been carried out, we picked a phone, and we have been tracking a particular phone that they picked from the people they attacked.”

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