One killed, 8 injured, houses razed in Ebonyi community over land dispute
No fewer than hundred houses have been reportedly razed in Amata-Akpoha community, Afikpo North local government area of Ebonyi State.
This is following a land dispute that ensued between Amata-Akpoha and the neighbouring Ezeke-Amasiri community.
It was gathered that eight persons have so far sustained serious injuries, while one death was recorded in the said disputes that has lasted over forty years.
Briefing Journalists in Abakaliki, the chairman Ekpuke Eto traditional ruling council of Amata Akpoha community, Prof. John igidi said, “There are incidents that we never anticipated and have been avoiding over the years. The people we felt are our brothers and neighbours had last month September, killed an innocent man who went to his farm.
“He was rounded up and was gruesomely murdered, the young man was shouting according to eyewitnesses.
“When the matter was reported to the Nigeria police, the DPO and others who came, saw the pool of blood, saw where they dragged him to, but to the glory of God, four days after, the body of the deceased was discovered floating on the other side of Akpoha river.
“After killing the young man, they put him inside a cellophane bag and hanged three heavy stones, so that nobody will see his corpse. And we will be saying he is missing. The police that came helped our people to recover the young man’s body from the river.
“The question is what led to this killing? Government directed that nobody should go there, until the determination to resolve the matter. They left the disputed areas and came to where we are farming to threaten the farmers.
“There was a woman who was caught alongside with this deceased, who hails from Amasiri by birth and she is of Akpoha by marriage. They took her to that place for confirmation. And the family confirmed before they released her.
“They threatened the woman that if she gives account of what happened, they will kill her and the entire family. We have told the police to safeguard that woman.
“We request that security personnel be deployed to the area, because since a week now, our people no longer go to farm. The security should secure the lives of our innocent farmers.
“We don’t want war, because we are not prepared for war. We don’t have all it takes to fight war. You see this killing that happened, there has been no arrest. The police have discovered the list of those who went to that farm that day.”
Prof. Igidi called on the Ebonyi State government, led by Chief David Umahi to urgently bring permanent peace.
He said that “about 8 persons have also been injured”.
He frowned at the rate of destruction of their buildings by the neighbouring community.
“After ten years, Ezeke Amasiri invaded Amata Akpoha and started destroying people’s houses.
“They equally destroyed farms/buildings of our people, more than one hundred buildings, destroyed their farm crops,” he stated.
In a reaction, the wife of the victim, Mrs. Florence Isu who is a mother of seven children, called on the state government to seek justice for the murdered husband.
“My husband didn’t do anything and they killed him like a foul. They hung three stones on my husband after putting him inside a cellophane bag and threw him inside a river. My husband did not do anything to them.
“They killed my husband and he left behind seven children. I have no one else to help me, except my husband whom we are struggling together to find what to eat and train that seven children.
“My husband and I did not do anything to them. My husband went to the farm to look for what we will eat and they killed him like a goat. An innocent man. My husband didn’t do anything to Amasiri community, and Amasiri people killed my husband like a goat.
“I wouldn’t have seen my husband’s corpse if not that God made his lifeless body float on the Amasiri river. I call on the government to help me seek justice for my husband, by ensuring that those who killed him are apprehended,” she stated.
Responding, the commissioner of police, Ebonyi State command, CP Philip Sule Maku confirmed the incident, describing it as barbaric and inhuman.
He also urged the communities to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands as, “the police will ensure full scale investigation into the matter with a view to arresting and prosecuting the assailants.”