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No fewer than 50 villagers including women and children were reportedly killed on Monday by suspected herdsmen in Egedege, Obegu and Amazu in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State as well as Umuhu community in Isiuzo Local Government Area of neighbouring Enugu State.
Asides the 50 killed, many other villagers also sustained various degrees of injuries while vehicles and motorcycles were burnt. The attackers also looted some property from the area.
A priest of the Methodist Church, whose name could not be immediately confirmed, was said to be among those killed.
Witnesses told Daily Sun that the herders came into the area in large numbers at about 6:30 to 7 pm on Monday and mounted roadblocks, invaded houses, and killed several villagers.
According to one of them, about 50 corpses had been deposited in a private morgue in the neighbouring Ehamufu town in Enugu State, while more corpses were still being retrieved from bushes in the affected villages.
‘There’s a bush there where they kidnap people into. That is where they launched the attack from. The bush borders Obegu, Amechi Idodo, down to Ehamufu; that is their hideout. That bush is big and the government should do something about it.
‘They set up roadblocks and attacked people. They went into homes and killed people one by one. They used their knives on children. They used guns, they used knives, they used whatever to slaughter our people. They are still searching for people in the Bush.’
He also said he suspected the incident was a reprisal because there was a time a Fulani man was reportedly killed there and ‘last week, we noticed that they began to leave the village. I told the people around me that these people were planning to do something sinister because I had been in Uzo-Uwani and I know how they behave.’
Governor Dave Umahi, who confirmed the killing of 15 in four communities of Nkalaha, Obegu, Amaezu and Umuhuali in Ishielu Local Government Area, expressed shock.
He called for calm as he vowed that the assailants would be apprehended and made to pay for their act.
‘We feel so sad that this kind of thing should happen to Ebonyi State, we feel so worried for our country Nigeria and we are short of words.
‘Good enough, we have some traces of the sponsors, we have the traces of those who came here. I will not disclose it but I am going to escalate the identities of the people to the highest authorities and we wait to see what they will do but we condemn this attack, it is not only happening in Ebonyi State and this country if it is allowed to go this way, it is capable of generating very serious civil war among the nation of Nigeria.
‘I want to demand from the security chiefs to fish out this people because they are well known, they should fish them out let them face the wrath of the law. It has happened in so many places and they were not fished out and that’s why this kind of thing is happening. I want to appeal to these communities to be assured that we will get them. We have their identities. We have their connections, we have the contact. Please stay calm, don’t take laws into your hands, two wrong can never make a right so that you give us the opportunity to fish them out’. he added.
Police Public Relations Officer for the State command, DSP Loveth Odah said a team of police officers led by Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations had been dispatched by Commissioner of Police Aliyu Garba to visit the community for an on-the-spot assessment.
They are also to commence an investigation to ascertain what happened and report back to the police boss.
She added that the command will officially react to the attack after a thorough investigation.
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