The resurgence of the protracted land dispute between the people of Inyimagu and Ekpomaka in Ikwo Local Government area of Ebonyi State recently worsened.
Daily Times gathered that in the recent wake of the crisis several persons have lost their lives, over 105 houses torched and over 5000 persons displaced from their homes.
Speaking during a meeting in Ikwo local government area, a leader from Ekpomaka, Elder Stephen Orogwu, who said that the crisis dated back to 1986, alleged that the people of Inyimagu were bent on exterminating them.
“Before 1986, there were skirmishes between the two villages. At that time, the demarcation of the land in dispute was suspended at Akataka village. And a covenant was made that none of the group should fight again. Since then, there have been peace in the villages.
However, Akataka Inyimagu attacked Akataka Ekpomaka, abducted and killed many of them. On 31st January, 2012 Inyimagu stormed a village, abducted eleven people and killed them. They destroyed everything they had, cut down all economic trees there and left the place desolate.
“The people of Ekpomaka cried to security agents, the former governor of Ebonyi State and leaders of Ikwo. A peace committee was set up headed Eze Dominic Alo.
“What heightened the tension this year was when one David Omori who was engaged by a woman in her farm was killed by the people of Inyimagu. Last week, two Ekpomaka people went to their farm attacked by Inyimagu people.
“That evening, they went and started burning houses and killing people.
105 houses were burnt. There is no one house in Inyimagu that was not torched. In fact, 5000 persons were displaced”, he stated.
Speaking on behalf of the people of Inyimagu, the President of Inyimagu town union, Chukwuma Nwekoyo, who stated that it was the people of Ekpomaka who first attacked one Sunday Nwisuzor in his farm.
According to him, when the report of the death came to him, he made effort to intervene to douse the tension, but regretted that while was trying to quell the crisis some youths took laws into their hands and caused more havoc.