By Peter Okutu
Abakaliki—Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State yesterday expressed sadness over the unfortunate demise of some Ebonyi people following the outbreak of communal clashes in some parts of the state.
He lamented the development and called on leaders of the affected communities to give peace a chance.
The governor stated this in Abakaliki during a stakeholders meeting with stakeholders from three local government areas where some of the killings have taken place recently.
They include Enyibichiri in Abakaliki local government area, Echie Alike in Ikwo local government area and Umuogodoakpu and Ukwuagba communities in Ohaukwu local government area.
Enyibichiri and Echie Alike have been having interactable boundary dispute for decades.
The dispute re-ignited last week with the killing of about 8 persons, six of whom were members of the same family as they were burnt to death in a bus while returning from a matriculation ceremony of their son.
Umuogodoakpu and Ukwuagba communities have been having boundary dispute with Agila community in Ado local government area of Benue state which over the years have claimed many lives.
The crisis also re-ignited last week with the burning of houses in Ukwuagba and alleged killing of some persons in Umuogodoakpu.
Umahi had to cut short his vacation because of the outbreak of hostilities in the three local government areas.
He however accused some stakeholders from the communities of fuelling the crisis.
“If there is any further aggression against the Agila people that will result to our people being killed, you will present yourself for arrest and prosecution immediately.
“If the chairman of a community is not able to protect the lives of his people, then he is not worthy to be the chairman. He should resign or I sack him whether it is constitutional or not constitutional is immaterial to me. What is important is the lives of Ebonyi people and the constitution that we swore to uphold.”