Ebonyi communal war: death toll rises to 14

Ebonyi communal war: death toll rises to 14

… 6months old baby, 7 family members roasted

…State Govt. Spits fire, suspends
council charimen, over 50 appointees

Angela Nwaeze

Death toll of the recent communal war between Ndiagu Alike Ikwo community In Ikwo local government and Enyibuchiri Izzi community in Abakaliki local government, all in Ebonyi state has risen to fourteen.

Before now, eight persons were reportedly killed in the bloody war, but the state Commissioner for Border Peace and Conflict Resolution, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, yesterday confirmed that additional corpses were discovered.

He said that apart from the six months old baby and other passengers of a commercial mini bus that was set ablaze and the occupants roasted, six more corpses were found.

Ugbala while briefing newsmen after a large security meeting of state government with stakeholders of the affected communities on April 9, 2019 confirmed that three people were killed at Nwida market and another three along Obubura-Ikwo road.

He said majority of those killed were from Ikwo local government area, including the eight persons that were burnt to ashes.

The commissioner revealed that the eight people were from the same Nweke’s family and had gone to celebrate their son who was among those that matriculated at Ebonyi state University on Saturday, April 6.

While sympathizing with families of the victims, he said that Governor David Nweze Umahi, has given security agencies in the state a marching order to fish out perpetrators of the dastardly act and prosecute them in line with the law to serve as a deterrent to others.

He said that after the Tuesday security meeting at the Executive Chambers Government House Abakaliki, exco resolved that the local government chairmen of Ikwo and Abakaliki be suspended.

Also suspended were 33 stakeholders from Ikwo and 18 stakeholders from Abakaliki and they were given seven days to produce those behind the attacks.

The Governor also suspended all on going projects in the two local government areas, as well as salaries of civil servants perceived to be sponsoring the attacks.

He assured that the suspensions would be lifted as soon as there are traces of permanent peace between the two communities.

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He directed the suspended council Chairmen to hand over to their Vice and vowed to fight cultism to a standstill.
Ugbala also confirmed the killing of two people who came from a neighbouring town of Elenri in Enugu state to Onicha Igboeze of Ebonyi state to marry.

He said a misunderstanding ensued between the people and their in-laws which led to the death of two persons, while regretting the action of Onicha people, he assured that the perpetrators must face the law.

Meanwhile, those suspended in Abakaliki local government area were, two Traditional Rulers; His Royal Highness Eze Nwaobasi, and His Royal Highness Eze Nwaegu, Other people suspended are: Hon Matthew Uguru-General Manager, Ebonyi Rice World, Hon Felix Otta-SA to governor on Special Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Hon Joe Oketa- SA to the Governor on Cassava.

Hon Mrs Augustine Nwavo- coordinator, Hon Reuben Ede, hon Bernard Ngele, Hon Chukwuma Offoke-TA to governor, Hon Chukwuma Okmiri-TA to governor, Hon Lawrence, Hon Patrick Nweke Ore, Hon Omugo Romanus- management committee member, Hon Odida Johnson -Management committee member, Ede Simon-Management committee member, Hon Nwboko Raymond-Management Committee Member.

Hon Emeka Ogbonnaya-Management committee member, Hon Mrs Margaret Nwaegu- Management committee member, President of the two development or town union as the case may be were also suspended.

While from Ikwo were; Hon Decline Ovonna, Hon. Chibueze Nweke councilor, Hon Emeka Nwaode-Member 4 civil service commission, Hon Peter Oke-member three UBEB, Hon. Hillary Nwonu ex-offical secondary education board, Hon Linvius Elaga TA to the Governor.

Hon Amachi Nwova TA to the Governor, Hon Silas Ogbonna TA to the Governor, Hon Chukwuma Ede Licensor officer to governor, Hon Cecila Nwode management committee member, Hon Florence Nwonu management committee member.

Hon Erodibe Nwaele SA to Ebonyi house of Assembly, Hon Emeka Elom TA to the Governor, hon Augustine Mbam STA to the Governor hon. Boniface Negbu member three ESEC, Hon Sunday Chukwu Councilor, Hon. Joseph Nweke TA to the Governor.

Hon Uche Edeori licensor officer to the Governor, Hon Emmanuel Nwonu management committee member, Hon. Celestine Nweke management committee member, hon Margaret Nweke, member CSDA, hon Romanus Mbam member pension board, Hon. Sunday Nwakwo SA to the governor to the deputy Governor office.

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Hon Francise Ellum member Ebonyi fertilizer company board, hon Kelechi Ellum Council, Hon Chinadu Ogboge TA to the Governor, hon friend Opkowa, TA to the Governor, Hon Emmanuel Ogle, Hon John Nwode management committee member, Hon Ngozi Nwovo management committee member, Hon Chidi Nwadi SA to the coordinator Ikwo Development Center.

Reacting to the killings, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Loveth Odah, added that the incident started on Saturday morning when some people went to Nwida market in Ikwo local government area, and killed three persons including a police officer’s wife.

However, Independent investigation also revealed that one of the persons killed was tied on a motorcycle and was driven round the market with his head hitting the ground until he died.

Police said after the 9:30 attack, later in the day, gunshots were heard along Ikwo road and when police men arrived the scene, the commercial mini bus was already on fire.

The PPRO narrated that the driver of the mini bus was coming form the capital territory and on getting to the Noyo road, they started hearing gunshots at a close range.

The driver tried to turn back but unfortunately he fell into a gutter. It was there that their attacks met them and short indiscriminately at the bus and in the process, the bullets got to the fuel tank which set the bus ablaze.

She confirmed that all the occupants of the bus were burnt to ashes including a six months old baby and the mother.
Odah noted that the woman had multiple bullet wounds on her breast which may have caused her to throw the baby out of the bus, because according to the PPRO the child’s ashes were found on the ground close to the bus.

She said efforts were on top gear to get at the perpetrators, while pleading with members of the affected communities to give police useful information on the whereabouts of the

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