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Police arrest 2 suspected kidnappers

*As Oruku indigenes blame communal war on Umuode

By Tony Edike

ENUGU—THE Oruku Community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State has blamed the armed conflict that erupted between the community and their Umuode neighbours on April 2 on the alleged refusal by the latter (Umuode) to abide by the bond signed by the two warring communities, agreeing to give peace a chance.

This came even as fresh reports from the area yesterday,  said that two persons suspected to be kidnappers from Oruku were arrested by the police, while a fake mobile policeman, identified as Umuode native, was arrested during fresh  invasion of Oruku and shooting between the warring parties in the early hours of Sunday.

Chairman of the council, Mr. Ejike Ani, who confirmed the fresh violence yesterday, raised  alarm over plots by some influential persons in the area to use the police to escalate the crisis and thereby jeopardizing ongoing peace effort.

He alleged that his life had   been threatened by these people, who, he said, had continued to sponsor attacks on Oruku people with the backing of the police, adding that he had decided to go into hiding for now to ensure his safety.  Ani spoke with Vanguard on telephone, yesterday.

The Oruku leaders said that both parties had made an undertaking before the Enugu State Police Commissioner on 4 September  2009, agreeing to among other things, to desist from further attacks on each other, pending the Enugu State government’s pronouncement on the execution of the White Paper and the court orders on the communal feud.

The two warring parties had also agreed not do use offensive weapons or prohibited firearms against themselves, while accepting to make the access roads passing through the two communities free to every person without molestation.

In a statement at the weekend by Acting President-General of Oruku Community, Chief  Joseph Okenwa and Secretary-General, Mr. Emmanuel Agbo, the community maintained that it had kept to its side of the promise to live in peace with their Umuode neighbours before the shooting of one of her indigenes, which led to the recent clash.


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