Ebonyi State: Gang war leaves 3 persons dead in Afikpo South by Elyger Agwu
No fewer than three persons have been confirmed dead with scores of others wounded from series of violent inter-cult clashes in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, since April 27, 2020.
An indigene of Ekoli Edda, Kalu Otta, who confirmed the development, described Edda as another Afghanistan, stating that the area has become a war zone so much that youths indiscriminately go about with guns and dangerous weapons.
There are allegations that Kanbedone, a dangerous group is allegedly sponsored by Mr. Eni Uduma Chima, the Local Government Chairman of the area.
Recall that on March 27, 2020, a crisis occurred at Nguzu Edda that ultimately led to the death of 19 year-old, Chidi Arua Oji. He was killed in front of his family house at Nguzu.
Eyewitness accounts say members of a team who belong to the COVID-19 taskforce set up by the Council chairman visited the community, went straight to the premises of Hon. Nkemka Okoro Onuma the lawmaker representing Afikpo South West in the Ebonyi State House of Assembly and accused them of holding a public burial activity.
According to Dick Maduabuchi Oko, “The whole incident started when three boys came to Nguzu with one motorcycle(Okada) about 4:40pm or thereabout with a jacket apron they wore with an inscription, ‘Anti Covid-19 Virus Task Force Team’.
“As they came, they were saying that Nguzu people are doing burials, that they must inspect everywhere. Of a truth, their approach was annoying. This was happening in front of Hon. Nkemka Okoro Onuma’s house.
“Some Nguzu people who were around told them to go back, insisting that such a thing was not taking place. They even tore my cloth when I was trying to separate the fight. Along the line, Nguzu people left them after some persons intervened.
“Within two hours, they came back again at the same spot with Pump Action and AK-47 guns shooting sporadically. They were six in number at this time shouting, “wia dem!” “wia them!!”! They finally shot one man who was eating African Salad on the (leg) and another dead”.
In a related incident, three youths have become casualties following the outbreak of violence at Asaga village in Owutu Edda.
According to what we have learnt, trouble started, following the killing of a young man, Onu Chima Ukpai (AKA, Deck Man) from Asaga Owutu Edda, during a clash between a group known as “More-Can-Be-Done” and Owutu Edda Youths on Sunday, 3rd May, 2020.
Among those wounded on that fateful Sunday was Chinedu Offor Ufere, who died a forthnight later after the clash.
On Wednesday, the 6th of May, 2020, the elder brother of the boy killed on Sunday (one Jarun), in a reprisal attack shot and killed another boy, Raphael Okereke.
Inside source say the reason of the clash at Owutu Edda is the gulf between boys loyal to the CouncilChairman and those loyal to the Lawmaker and both of the PDP. The crux of the matter is that members of the COVID 19 Taskforce made up of only those loyal to the council boss use their office to harass and intimidate their opponents, hence the fracas and the mayhem.
The Ebonyi State Police Command, promptly came into the matter and arrested the Local Government Chairman, Mr. Eni Uduma Chima and the lawmaker representing Afikpo South East in the Ebonyi state House of Assembly, Hon. Chidi Ejem, They were later released.
While Edda people were hoping that peace was on the way due to a well-orchestrated Stakeholders peace meeting, another mayhem occurred. This time, at Ogwuma Edda where a youth, Orji Sunday Nnachi was nearly butchered to death by supposed members of Kanbebone.
Interestingly, the council boss rushed to Edda forums on Facebook to debunk the allegation against the daredevil squad which attacked Orji Sunday Nnachi.
According to him, “The boy is with his family in Ogwuma Edda. The issue is related to misunderstanding in the palm plantation where our people were harvesting and processing the palm fruits. I’m settling it for them to ensure that there’s peace.”
Ben Nkama stated told this publication, “The guy was beaten up by a group of boys who have not yet been identified. He is not dead but in the hospital in Abakaliki. According to him, he did not know those guys that had attacked him, neither did he know why they were beating him”.
In confirming the development the Ebonyi state Commissioner for Border Peace and Internal Security, Hon. Stanley Okoro Emegha confirmed the incidents but stressed that the governor is very concerned with peace across the state especially at this period of COVID-19 pandemic.
But he revealed that investigation is under way on the crisis, hinting that no stone will be left unturned in unraveling the remote and immediate cause of the crisis.
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