A Methodist priest and 17 other indigenes of Egedegede, Obegu and Amuzu communities in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, were on Monday evening, gruesomely killed by rampaging herdsmen who invaded the communities.
The car belonging to the Methodist priest was also burnt by the herdsmen. But the police in Ebonyi said only six people were killed.
The Ebonyi attack came as the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Police Command, Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu, yesterday, ordered full scale investigation to unravel the circumstances which led to the violence that claimed lives at Adani, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu on Sunday night.
The Ebonyi incident came as a shock to the indigenes. While a resident who did not want his name in print said 18 persons were killed by the herdsmen in Ishielu, another resident said 10 persons were killed. “We are mourning, we are in serious mourning since late hours of Monday.
Herdsmen invaded our communities and massacred our people. As we speak, 18 persons were slaughtered like animals. They matcheted many of our people, burnt vehicles, motorcycles and looted our properties,” the resident said.
Chairman of Ishielu Local Government Area, Sunday Eze, and Commissioner for Business Development in the state, Dr. Stephen Odo, who hails from the local government, led a team of security agents to the communities and condoled the families of those killed in the invasion.
They assured that government would take proactive measures to investigate the attack. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Loveth Odah, confirmed the incident but said only six people were confirmed dead.
She said: “The Commissioner of Police delegated a team of policemen for on-the- spot assessment because of peace talks going on in the town. So, the Commissioner of Police delegated the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations and others who went for on-the-spot assessment to enable us get the details of the report.
They are yet to come back.” Reacting to the killings yesterday, visibly angry Governor Dave Umahi, who visited the affected communities, said local herdsmen in the areas who the state government had an understanding with, committed the havoc. He said those who migrated to the area were convinced to leave, adding that the killings took place after they had left. ”
We feel so sad that this kind of thing should happen in our state. I am going to escalate this to the highest authorities in the country to ensure these people don’t get away with this,” the governor stated.
In another development, following the unabated killings and destruction of properties in Effium and Ezza-Effium communities in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Governor David Umahi, yesterday said the stakeholders arrested in connection with the crisis would remain in detention until peace returned to the area.
The governor, who stated this during the second round of meetings to resolve the issue, which started on Monday at the Christian Ecumenical Centre, Abakaliki, warned that if the killings continued, his administration would charge those indicted for murder. He visited the war-torn communities yesterday and assured them of government’s commitment towards ensuring lasting peace in Effium and Ezza Effium in the state. Umahi also visited Ishielu LGA to ascertain the current situation of the recent killings and condole with the families of the deceased