Ebonyi Communal Crisis: over 100 killed, others missing, properties razed

Ebonyi Communal Crisis: over 100 killed, others missing, properties razed

Charles Nwoke, Abakaliki, Nigeria
January 24, 2021 

The communal crisis that erupted on Friday between the natives of Effium and Ezza-Effium people in Ohaukwu Local Government Area Council of Ebonyi State has claimed over 100 lives, with scores missing and properties worth millions of Naira destroyed.

Both Ebonyi State clans live side by side as a single community with divergent autonomous wards. Effium and Ezza-Effium clans are respectively located in the Northern part of Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

The major cause of the fracas is not yet ascertained as evidence causes of the incidence gathered has not been fact-checked, but authorities claim that the crisis was as a result of leadership tussle at Effium motor park, while others indicated that the fracas emanated because of boundary and tribal disputes.

A resident of Inikiri Ezza-Effium who pleaded anonymity, lamented, “two hundred lives are lost and more is going.

“As I speak this moment, a house is burning in Effium near our Chief Judge’s house, who knows whose house will be next?

“Last night to this morning, over 50 houses have been burnt down and scores of our people missing,” he added.

Another source from the area who wouldn’t like his identity disclosed confirmed the number of persons reportedly killed as at the time of filing this report to be 200.

“Over 200 persons have been killed so far. I get information from both sides. People are being killed even now,” he said, crying out.

Reacting to the ugly development, the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr. Eric Kelechi Igwe has directed political office holders in Effium to close ranks and ensure speedy resolution of the crisis that erupted in the area.

He gave the directive when he visited the warring communities on a fact-finding mission.

The Deputy Governor who was visibly unhappy over the unfortunate feud, charged stakeholders of the area to as a matter of urgency, fish out those behind the act; warning that they will henceforth be held responsible for any further break down of law.

He directed the Chairman of Ohaukwu Local Government Area Council, Clement Odah, and Member Representing Ohaukwu North in the State House of Assembly, Chinedu Awo to immediately step in and appeal to both aggrieved sides to sheath their swords in the interest of peace.

The Ebonyi State Command Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba, who received the Deputy Governor on his arrival at the scene, described as unfortunate the breach of peace in the area, which has resulted in wanton destruction of lives and properties in the area.

The Commissioner of Police, while briefing the Deputy Governor on the situation on the ground, said that his preliminary observation indicated that the crisis was as a result of a leadership tussle at Effium motor park, which degenerated along tribal lines between Effium speaking people and the Ezzas.

He stated that he arrived at the scene of the incidents immediately after he got the distress call, adding that he has deployed his men to the various villages and flashpoints to forestall any violence and act of lawlessness.

The devastating crisis is becoming more dangerous as peace and diplomacy haven’t been reached, to this extent, other good citizens are calling on the government for immediate action. As at this time, the crisis is still spreading the community with destructions and killings looming everywhere.