Four persons from Ngno community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have been killed in resumed hostilities with neighbouring Agila in Ardo Local Government Area of Benue State.
The deceased were members of a peace committee set up by Ebonyi and Benue governments to end the age-long boundary dispute between the two communities.
The intractable dispute has claimed many lives with properties worth billions destroyed over the years.
Last week, Benue Deputy Governor, Chief Benson Abonu and his Ebonyi counterpart, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, held a meeting at Government House Abakaliki.
They inaugurated three committees Inter community peace committee, Ohaukwu/Ado Inter Local Governments Peace Committee and a Technical Committee with members drawn from National Boundary Commission, Office of Surveyor General of the Federation and Surveyors Generals of Ebonyi and Benue states to end killings, maiming and destructions in the crisis.
But on Wednesday, four members of the peace committees who are indigenes of Ngbo, Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi State, were killed with two others injured.
They were ambushed and killed by warlords on their way to a meeting in Benue state over the crisis.
Governor Dave Umahi, who was visibly angry, has summoned stakeholders meeting of the area.
Briefing the Governor at Exco Chambers Government House Abakaliki where the meeting held, Chairman of the local government, Hon. Clement Odah, said the killings occurred barely one week after inauguration of the committees.
“Each time we meet and agreed that peace should reign, the Agila people will always breach that peace.
“This one is one of the cases of those cases of breaches and the effect is that it has left in our place, large number of IDPs,” he said.
Umahi, while expressing his anger on the killings, said it was not ordinary and accused the stakeholders of aiding and abating the crisis.
“I am not a fool. These things are done by you people. There is no any other person that did it.
“It is like you give somebody salt, you give him water. How can you say that these people killed were ambushed? I have asked them to audit all your resources from Ohaukwu local government,” he fumed.
Umahi ordered police and DSS to arrest stakeholders from the area, including the council chairman, Odah for interrogation.
•Text (excluding headline) courtesy of The Nation.