By Dennis AGBO, Abakaliki
THE Ezza-Ezillo communal war in Ebonyi state, on Friday, assumed a frightening dimension as the Nigerian Police Force was overran by suspected hired militants that sporadically shot face toÂ face with the Police and smashed twoÂ police armoured tanks that were recently acquired by the Ebonyi state government.
Also the Minister for Works, Housing and Urban Development, Alhaji Hassan Lawa , who was billed to visit the state could not get into the state as the Enugu-Abakaliki road was overtaken by the militants that were for days shooting, killing commuters and sometimesÂ robbing at the war spot.
A police officer was reported shot by the militants but it is not clear if the policeman died. Our reporter who went close to the war field stood afar to hear the gunshots as the militants exchanged fire with the police. The police in less than ten minutes retreated with the smashed tank. The militants pursued the police, still shooting as the reporter also fled the spot.
Movement between Abakalik and Enugu is now frustrating as commuters use bus paths of Ezzagu to Nkanu areas of Enugu state. Others choose to ply routes from Enugu to Okigwe-Afikpo and back to Abakaliki. Transport fares have therefore tripled due the long distances and bus paths that damage vehicles.
Most of the victims are believed to be travelers plying the Enugu-Abakaliki Express road, a trans-African highway that stretches from Benin Republic through Lagos-Enugu, Ebonyi to Cross River and Cameroon republic.