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Ebonyi communal war: Suspected warlords abduct travellers in Abakaliki

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by Ruth Oginyi

The communal war between the people of Ikwo and Abakaliki local government areas of Ebonyi state, has taken a new dimension as lady Chineme (surname withheld), a native of Ndiegu Amagu, Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi state, Friday morning recounted how she was abducted and taken to a thick forest where she was to be killed by suspected warlords on Sunday for sacrifice.

She was reportedly hypnotised and taken to the thick forest in the Abakaliki area, where she was sexually assaulted by suspected warlords who stripped her naked and hung her on a tree in the forest and had carnal knowledge of her.

Correspondent reports that, in the last few months, the communal crisis between Enyibichiri Echi-Alike Ikwo and Enyigba escalated with killings, abductions, and destruction of properties.

Ikwo people were reportedly sacked from the rice mill and in their private residence by the Izzi-speaking people in Abakaliki.

Security agencies and the government, however, have intensified efforts to stop the killings and maiming of unsuspecting members of the public as a result of the communal war. 

But reports have it that there have been secrete abductions and killings of people in the crisis.

The 21-year-old Chineme is the latest victim but was lucky to escape.

The girl who shall be getting married by September 25, 2021, would have been killed by her abductors but for divine intervention.

According to the report, the girl had entered a bush from Ikwo to Abakaliki but was abducted and taken to the thick forest where she was stripped naked and sexually assaulted by over 15 suspected warlords.

When our reporter visited the girl, she was unable to stand up or walk following the pains she sustained during the attack,   

She spoke soberly “I entered a motorcycle at Spera-in-Deo to the international market, Abakaliki but, on getting to the International Market, the okada man diverted me to a bush.

“Before he diverted me to the bush, he started telling me “what Izzi people are doing to Ikwo people is only God that will judge them.”  He told me that he was praying to God to give Ikwo people the heart to retaliate against what the Izzi people were doing to them and I did not utter anything.

“As the man was carrying on the bike to the international market, before he diverted me to the bush, he told me not to speak Ikwo dialect so that I will not be killed by Izzi people and I told him ‘okay’ not knowing that he was an Izzi man.

“Before I could notice it, he passed the international market and took me into the bush. When he was taking me into the bush, I started crying and told him that he was taking me to where I did not tell him to take me to and he told me to keep quiet.  When we got to the bush, 15 persons were already waiting for us in the bush and they immediately pulled off all my clothes and set them on fire and put a rope on my neck, and hung me on a tree.

“The okada man carried me at about 9:17 am at that Spera-in – Deo and before we got to the bush, it was already 1 pm. When he passed the mechanic site, I couldn’t know what was happening. In the bush when they hung me on the tree, they told me that they want to kill me and use me as a sacrifice this Sunday.

“There was a native doctor in that bush who, on seeing me shouted “yes, we have seen the person I will use and make the sacrifice. The native doctor brought out a tortoise and placed it on my neck. By left and right-hand sides also hanging on the tree, were two persons whose bodies were already decomposing. The two decomposing bodies were all men including the 15 persons that were in the bush. 

The N35,000 I was going to the market with when the okada man carried me, was collected by those men that I met in the bush.

“After two hours, one of them came from somewhere and told me that these two persons hanging on the tree with you decomposing, died under five minutes and I am still alive. He told me that, for lasting two hours without dying, he will save me and I thanked him. He immediately used a cutlass and cut off the rope on me on the tree and brought me down and told me to follow a particular road and go home, he warned me against following the road the okada man followed and brought me into the bush so that I will not be killed. 

 I saw many human parts including skulls in that bush, a thick forest. The man released me at 3 pm while I got home at 9: pm.”

Her husband-to-be, Evangelist Chinedu Emmanuel, decried the incident and called on the state government to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.

“I am very sad. I am very sad about it. Government and security agents should do everything humanly possible to put an end to all these things.”

Chairman of Ikwo local government, Elder Steve Orogwu who also reacted to the evil act, described it as wickedness, very undesirable, and most unfortunate.

“I am calling on security agencies to please come to the aid of our people. Ikwo remains an endangered set of people. All these things happening are against the Ikwo people. A vehicle will come out either in the night and will be shouting Ikwo! Ikwo!! On mid-way going, they will be diverted into the bush where they are killed and nothing will be heard of them again.

“This policy from the headquarters, Abakaliki had raided this particular forest in question and caught some people who even made confessional statements of the killing as much as 48 persons in that forest but that forest has come back to life again”, he said.

Contacted, the police public relations officer Ebonyi state command DSP Loveth Odah confirmed the report and said the police was investigating the matter.

“Yes, the girl said she entered okada from the park but instead of the okada taking her to her destination, she was diverted to where she was allegedly gang-raped by about 15 men. Police are investigating the matter. The commissioner of police has vowed to do everything within the ambit of the law to ensure that the suspects are apprehended and brought to justice,” Loveth said.

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