SCORES FLEE HOMES IN BENUE BORDER COMMUNITY OVER COMMUNAL CLASH WITH EBONYI

Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

AS  a result of alleged renewed attacks on the Agila people of Ado Local Government, Benue State  by Ngbo people of Ebonyi State, several people were said to be fleeing their homes at the border town between Benue and Ebonyi states.

Parish priest of St. Peters’ Catholic Church, Agila, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Onoja, during a telephone interview  alleged that his church came under heavy attack by the Ngbo warriors who were shooting sporadically in all directions.

“There was heavy shooting in the church. Since the crisis started, this is the first time I am experiencing this. They wrote  an inscription on the wall telling Agila people to depart the land.

They nearly killed a young man who was farming behind the church.

“I called  the deputy governor, Benson Abounu,  who promised that government will send soldiers to the area but as I speak to you, nothing has been done.

We are living in fear. Several persons have deserted the area and fled for safety.

Chairman, Ado Local Government, James Oche,  lamented that the incessant attacks on the people of Agila by Ngbo people of Ebonyi State over boundary issues was becoming a recurring decimal.

Oche, who also spoke in a telephone chat accused the Ngbo people of  attempt to frustrate the boundary demarcation between Benue and Ebonyi states as well as Enugu and Benue states.

“This is the second attack in a week. They attacked Government Secondary School, Agila and a Catholic Church.

Though, there  are no casualties but basically, they are carrying out these attacks to frustrate the Federal Government’s efforts at re-beaconing the Benue/Enugu and Benue/Ebonyi boundaries. That is the motive.

“As a matter of  fact, we saw that there would be further attacks on Oha-Agila, Ijigban, and Ekele.

These are border communities. Only recently, the Federal Government released money for re-beaconing of our boundaries. So, all these attacks are meant to frustrate the process,” the council boss stated.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene said she was not aware of any recent attack on the Agila people adding that most times, the attacks on the people in the border communities are not in Benue State.