By Oginyi Ruth

Nine persons were on Sunday killed by yet-to-be identified gunmen in Ukwagba Ngbo village, a boundary community between Benue and Ebonyi States in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi.

 No fewer than four persons were still missing as at Sunday evening over the development.

It was gathered that killing of the victims was not unconnected with the protracted boundary war between Ukwuagba Ngbo community in Ebonyi and Agila community in Benue State.

The Governor of the state Engr. David Umahi on Sunday however threatened to arrest and imprison stakeholders of the area for allegedly sponsoring the killings.

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Umahi spoke on Sunday when he visited the council headquarters of Ohaukwu LGA located at 135 Ezzangbo, and gave the stakeholders of the area 24 hours to produce the killers of the 9 persons and the missing four persons.

Represented by his deputy, Mr Kelechi Igwe, Governor Umahi said it is shameful for stakeholders of the area including the 6 former chairmen of the council to allow killings to ravage the local government.

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The boundary war between Ebonyi and Benue people has lasted for years with many lives and properties lost. Just in this 2019, about 30 lives have been lost including a police officer serving with Ebonyi State Command and the fresh nine persons.

Umahi said, “I am very embittered in my spirit. The first civilian Governor from this state and the grandfather of Ebonyi state is from this local government area. And right inside here, I can see about seven past local Government area chairmen.

“It is a shame on all of you. We did not come to paint pictures or clap for you. Do not deceive government. Everyday Agila people have come. It is pure falsehood, you know what is happening to yourselves, and you are killing yourselves.

“You should know people who are causing trouble in your domain. The traditional rulers should be able to fish out people who are causing trouble. We have not come with the message of comfort but to sound a note of warning.

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“We are tired of hearing sentimental stories of what is happening in Ohaukwu. What we want is action. Some people wrote an undertaking to government. Most of you are here and for those who are not part of it, we will make you part of it. Because they had agreed that if anything as tragic as this happens in Ohaukwu again we should hold them responsible.

“All These people that signed that undertaking must produce those people that were killed and those that waylaid the victims. You can set up a vigilante to do that. Enough is enough. We must stop playing games.”

Briefing the deputy governor on the security situation, the chairman of Ohaukwu LGA, Clement Odah blamed the killings on some persons who are not happy with his administration.

“Yesterday, we were heading towards Ukwagba community in Ngbo that casualties numbering nine persons and ten from the latest information were killed, massacred in their homes.

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“There is a situation we were trying to manage that some persons who were Ezza brothers were going to a burial at Effuim from Enugu state. They were 30 persons in number on getting to rest house in Ishielu LGA, one of them was involved in an accident, and they took him to Ezzimgbo general hospital.

“While they were there, four persons left them and moved ahead of the 30 to attend the burial leaving the other 26 behind but on getting to Agbaesa, they were intercepted by boys who blocked the roads. Then when the other 26 reached the venue of the burial, they couldn’t find the other four persons who left them at the hospital” he stated.


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