Sheath your swords – Umahi to warring Ebonyi communities
By Ruth Oginyi
Ebonyi state governor Engr David Umahi, has appealed to the people of the Ezillo and Iyionu community in the Ishielu local government area of the state to sheath their swords and avoid blocking the high way thereby creating tension in the state.
Renewed crisis broke out in the communities on Monday night which led to the death of two persons.
Reports have it that there has been an age-long dispute among them but, on Tuesday, crisis led to the blocking of Enugu/Abakaliki highway thereby obstructing vehicular movement so hoodlums were shooting continuously around the buffer zone.
Source disclosed that there was a fight between Ezillo and Inyionu communities first and that led to Ezillo youths blocking the federal highway.
Meanwhile, the governor visited the warring communities on Tuesday.
While briefing journalists on the same Tuesday, after the security meeting, the governor indicted a councillor from the Ezillo community allegedly for being the cause of the renewed fight.
He said, “On Iyionu/Ezillo, this land dispute has been there for years and the state government had taken over the land in dispute and declared it a buffer zone, but unfortunately out of greed, one councillor from Ezillo took an expatriate investor to the zone and that resulted in the shooting and killings where two people died.”
However, a statement from governor Umahi’s special assistant on media, Francis Nwaze, said the governor, after visiting the area to ascertain the level of destruction there, sued for peace and promised proper demarcation of the area, further directing the youths to keep off the disputed land and charging them to avoid reprisal attacks in order not to further worsen the security situation in the area.
He quoted the governor saying, “I want the youth to remain in their localities, remain peaceful, not block the expressway again and to remember not to go to the disputed land again. With the help of Father Nwali who is the chairman of the committee, we will complete the demarcation of the disputed land in ten days.”