Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police
Two persons were reportedly wounded and many allegedly abducted in a renewed clash between Amata, Ishiagu community in Ivo local government area of Ebonyi and Lokpanta community in Abia state over ownership of farmland.
The two communities which have been locked in an inter-communal conflict over ownership of a vast arable farmland near their borders renewed their hostilities which led to two indigenes of Amata allegedly sustaining heavy gun shot wounds.
It was also alleged that many indigenes from both communities were abducted and taken hostage.
A source from Amata who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity said that the incident happened on the Saturday, May 29 at the disputed farmland.
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 blood-bath.
The source alleged that the people of Lokpanta who he said were in the habit of launching unprovoked sporadic attack during wet season farming activities were laying claim to the lands at the farming area.
The source further claimed that the land belonged to the Ameka community stressing that Lokpanta community was making false claims.
He decried the surprise attack on the defenceless, unarmed and elderly farmers who were in their farms for the wet season farming activities by the suspected hoodlums.
“The invaders came shooting sporadically and chasing the farmers with various types of dangerous weapons, two people sustained gun shot wounds in the process, I was lucky to have escaped unhurt.
Mrs Loveth Odah, Ebonyi Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO)
He urged the state and federal governments to urgently intervene to safe a looming inter-communal war between the two communities.
Mrs Loveth Odah, Ebonyi Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), confirmed the attack adding that both Ebonyi and and Abia state police commands were working to ensure return of full normalcy in the affected area.
She said that both commands have sent detachments of tactical units to patrol the area to prevent unauthorized movement 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 blood-bath; though two persons were confirmed injured from gun shots.
“it was a very unfortunate situation and we are appealing to both communities to sheet 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