2 injured, many abducted in Ebonyi, Abia communal clash

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Two persons were reportedly injured and many allegedly abducted in a renewed clash between Amata, Ishiagu community in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi state and Lokpanta community in Abia state.

The two communities have for years been locked in inter-communal conflict over ownership of a vast arable farmland near their borders.

The warring communities renewed their hostilities on Saturday, which led to two indigenes of Amata allegedly sustaining gunshot wounds.

The wounded persons who are battling for survival were said to be receiving medical treatment in the intensive care unit of an undisclosed hospital.

It was also alleged that many indigenes from both communities were abducted and taken hostage in a reprisal attack by Amata community.

A source from Amata who spoke to the Daily Times on condition of anonymity, said that the incident took place on May 30, at the disputed farmland.

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The source which escaped the attack, added that it took the timely intervention of armed policemen from Ivo division to put the situation under control and prevent a bloodbath.

The source alleged that the people of Lokpanta, were in the habit of launching unprovoked sporadic attacks during the wet farming season by laying claim to the disputed farmland.

The source further claimed that the land belongs to the Amata community, stressing that Lokpanta community was making false claims to the ownership of the land.

He decried the surprise attack on the defenceless, unarmed and elderly farmers who were in their farms by the suspected hoodlums.

“The invaders came shooting sporadically and chasing the farmers with various types of dangerous weapons; two people sustained gunshot wounds in the process, I was lucky to have escaped unhurt,” the source stated.

He urged the state and federal governments to urgently intervene to starve off a looming inter-communal war between the two communities.

Mrs. Loveth Odah, Ebonyi state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), confirmed the attack on Sunday in Abakaliki, adding that both Ebonyi and and Abia states commands were working to ensure normalcy in the affected area.

She said that both commands have sent detachments of tactical units to patrol the area to prevent unauthorized movement of people from the two communities into the disputed areas.

She said that police would ensure that law and order were maintained to avert any possible outbreak full armed hostilities that could lead to loss of human lives and destruction of property.

“Our men are in control of the situation; they arrived the scene of crisis and rescued those abducted from the two sides and also aborted a bloodbath; though two persons were confirmed injured from gun shots.

“It was a very unfortunate situation and we are appealing to both communities to sheath their sword and allow dialogue.

“The two police commands will collaborate to ensure that security is maintained in the affected area to prevent the incessant clashes between the two communities.

“We hope that Chief Anyim Pius, former Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF) and also former President of the Senate who is an indigene of the community will assist in this regard.

“The new commissioner who will be assuming duty at the command on June 1, will be briefed on the development and he will take it up with the governor to ensure timely intervention of the National Boundary Commission (NBC),” Odah said.

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