No fewer than four persons who were committee members constituted by the Ebonyi State Government to bring lasting peace to the lingering boundary crisis between Ebonyi and Benue States were yesterday reportedly killed, while two others were critical injured.
Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi made this known at the exco-chambers Government House, Abakaliki, during a meeting with stakeholder from Ohaukwu, Abakaliki and Ikwo LGAs.
The governor consequently ordered for immediate arrest of the 40 stakeholders from Ohaukwu Local Government Area, who signed the peace accord to end the crisis.
According to him “They will continue to go to the police until the killers are found. In the past, what has been happening in Ohaukwu was interest of one group against the other. The killings are not in the ordinary. I am not a fool that you will be fooling me. I am not a fool. These things are being done by you people. There are no other people that did it. How can you say, they ambushed you and you need support?
“Tell the commissioner of police and DSS to investigate them. They should be going to the police everyday for investigation of what is going on in Ohaukwu LGA.
“Deputy Governor should liaise with the Deputy Governor of Benue State because the truth is that, our people are the ones that give them information,” he stated.
Also, the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, while responding to the development, said, “Ohaukwu is on the spot light again. The reason I said so is that my last visit to Ohaukwu was with some mixed feeling. Ohaukwu stakeholders should put their house in order so that all these killings will stop.
“After the inauguration of the peace committees two days ago, just yesterday, these killings started. Unfortunately, some members of that committee we inaugurated were killed and I suspect a foul play,” he added.
Earlier in a remark, the Chairman of Ohaukwu LGA, Barr. Clement Odah, said that “we recorded the killing of four persons and two others were critical injured barely one week after the deputy Governor of Benue State and his traditional rulers visited us.
“We meet and inaugurated 3 committees at the office of Dr Kelechi Igwe. These committees started working immediately. The purpose of the committee was to make peace.
“Unfortunately, the Agila people of Benue State broke the peace. The common trend for years is that whenever we meet and agreed for peace to reign, just a few day after such meetings the peace pact will be broken by Agila people.
“This is one of those breaches of peace by Agila people. In our place, we have a large number of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, we have done our best to provide succour to those that were rendered homeless. But because of several unwarranted attacks, several families were affected in three communities,” he noted.