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Enugu wades into Udi communal crisis as Police arrest 10

By  Tony Edike

ENUGU—THE Enugu State Government has waded into the communal conflict between Amokwu Affa and Umuoka communities in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State with a directive to the warring parties to maintain peace, while the government finds a lasting solution to the land dispute.

Already, about 10 persons including the Administrator of Ugwunye Development Centre and the Councillor representing the area have been arrested and are being interrogated in connection with the case of arson.  All the detained persons are from Amokwu Affa community, the police said.

One killed

The violent clash between youths from the two communities reportedly claimed one life, while three vehicles and about 30 houses were razed.  An asphalt plant belonging to Comag Construction Company, built at a cost of $2.5 million was also allegedly burnt by youths from Amokwu Affa, who invaded Umuoka on the first day of the recent crisis and unleashed terror on the residents.

Police deny claim

Although the police authorities in Enugu confirmed the death of one Vincent Onumgbo from Amokwu Affa in the crisis, a top security officer in the state insisted yesterday that no one was killed in the incident, explaining that the deceased, Onumgbo had died long before the clash.

Vanguard learnt that Governor Sullivan Chime, who hails from Udi council, met with some top security officers, government officials and leaders of both communities at the Government House, Enugu to seek ways of resolving the dispute, which has threatened peace in the area.

The Governor, who was said not to be happy with the massive destruction of property belonging to Umuoka people by the invading Amokwu Affa youths, sources said, pleaded with both parties to lay down their arms and embrace the government’s peace effort.

Chime had directed the security chiefs to ensure that security was beefed up in the area to forestall further destruction of properties.  It was specifically agreed at the meeting that the 50 policemen deployed to the two communities in the wake of the conflict should not be withdrawn for now.


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