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Tension as 20 youths attack farmers in Anambra community

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By Praise Necherem

There is tension in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State following alleged invasion of Ogboachala farmland at Amikwe Omor by youths suspected to hail from neighbouring Anaku town.

The armed youths, numbering over 20, who reportedly stormed the farmland around 8:20am last Sunday, allegedly opened fire on rice farmers in the area over alleged unresolved farmland dispute. 

Orient Daily can report that a similar attack had taken place in the area which reportedly left many dead and property worth over N1billion destroyed in Anaku and Omor communities following the attack which lasted for three days.

A rice farmer from Omor, Mr Okwudili Chukwuemeka, who witnessed the attack told newsmen that the suspects shot sporadically on farmers, forcing them to scamper for safety. 

“I was in my rice farm spreading chemicals when they opened fire on us. I screamed as I ran for my dear life. Thank God I escaped unhurt”, he said. 

Another farmer, Mr Avuluiveekwulu Obiorah who said he was irrigating his rice farm when the attackers stormed the area, said the incident came to him as a surprise.

“I had thought efforts were on top gear to resolve the crisis but I was shocked when I heard gun shots and saw Omor farmers running out of their farms. As we ran, we heard them chanting war songs at the top of their voices”, he said.

Although no casualty was recorded during the attack, it was however learnt that the attackers were forced to flee on sighting military operatives on peacekeeping mission in the area who drove to the scene following alert.

Recounting a previous attack in the area, spokesperson for Omor town during a visit of Ayamelum Leaders of Thoughts, Hon Udoji Amaedu, claimed trouble ensued following alleged blocking of federal road leading to Ayamelum Local Government headquarters by Anaku youths.

He alleged abduction and murder of Chief James Nzekwesi, Mr. Chukwutoo Onyeagolu, Mr. Emmanuel Raymond and others, all from Omor who were yet to be seen nor heard from. 

Amaedu who regretted that the killings of Omor indigenes by Anaku people had been an age-long occurrence, claimed, “it was along this same road that the youths attacked former Chief Judge of Anambra, Hon Justice P.A.C Obidigwe, stole his phones and gave him machete cuts.”

Reacting on the recent attack by Anaku people, the Chairman of the Localk Government Area, Hon. Barr B.A. Onyeabo, said he initiated moves to avert further faceoff between the two neighbouring communities, thanking God that the matter was taken care of by the timely intervention of the military officers on ground. 

The youth leader of Omor town, Mr Peter Ananti while condemning what he termed provocative action of their neighbours who resort to regular attacks or abduction of his people amidst ongoing peace initiatives, appealed to security agencies in the area to tighten security to avoid further attacks. 

Speaking on behalf of Anaku, a youth leader in the area who preferred anonymity, claimed that, “last Sunday’s attack was reprisal of what Omor people did to our women earlier.” 

When contacted, Police spokesperson, Tochukwu Ikenga said he was yet to be briefed on the development.

“I don’t have details on any such incident please,” he replied.

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