Gov Umahi of Ebonyi State.
By our Correspondent.
Gov Ikpeazu of Abia State.
Two South Eastern states of Abia and Ebonyi have taken up arms against each other to forcefully claim a disputed farm land at the border separating the two states.
On Saturday, May 30, 2020 war broke out between the communities of both states that inhabit the border areas of the states in which so many people allegedly sustained gunshot wounds while others were abducted as hostages on both sides.
This renewed armed hostility was between Amata, Ishiagu Community in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, where the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and ex-President of the Senate, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, hails from, and Lokpanta Community in Abia State.
The two communities have been locked in inter-communal conflict for years over ownership of a vast arable farmland near their borders.
The warring communities renewed their hostilities on Saturday which led to some indigenes of Amata allegedly sustaining heavy gun shot wounds.
The wounded persons who are battling for survival were said to be receiving medical treatment in an intensive care unit at an undisclosed hospital.
It was also alleged that many indigenes from both communities were abducted and taken hostage following immediate reprisals from Amata community.
A source from Amata who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the incident took place on Saturday, May 30 at the disputed farmland.
The source which escaped the attack added that it took the timely intervention of armed policemen from Ivo Division to put the situation under control and prevent further blood-bath.
The source alleged that the people of Lokpanta who he said were in the habit of launching unprovoked sporadic attack during rainy season farming activities were laying claim to the lands at the farming area.
The source further claimed that the land belonged to the Amata Community stressing that Lokpanta Community was making false claims.
He decried the surprise attack on the defenceless, unarmed and elderly farmers who were in their farms for the wet season farming activities by the suspected invaders.
“The invaders came shooting sporadically and chasing the farmers with various types of dangerous weapons, two people sustained gun shot wounds in the process, I was lucky to have escaped unhurt.
He urged the state and federal governments to urgently intervene to save a looming inter-communal war between the two communities.
Mrs Loveth Odah, Ebonyi Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), confirmed the attack on Sunday in Abakaliki adding that both Ebonyi and and Abia state commands were working to ensure return of full normalcy in the affected area.
She said that both police commands have sent detachments of tactical units to patrol the area to prevent unauthorized movement of people from the two communities into the disputed areas.
She stated that police would ensure that law and order were maintained to avert any possible outbreak of full armed hostilities that could lead to loss of human lives and destruction of property.
“Our men are in control of the situation; they arrived the scene of crisis and rescued those abducted from the two sides and also aborted a blood-bath; though two persons were confirmed injured from gun shots.
“It was a very unfortunate situation and we are appealing to both communities to sheet their sword and allow dialogue.
“The two police commands will collaborate to ensure that security is maintained in the affected area to prevent the incessant clashes between the two communities.
“We hope that Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, will assist in this regard.
“The new commissioner of Police of Ebonyi who will be assuming duty at the command today will be briefed on the development and he will take it up with the governor to ensure timely intervention of the National Boundary Commission (NBC),” Odah said.