They is a great hostility between Effiom community in Ado Local Government Area of Benue state and Ezza community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi States. It has been reported that a major crisis has erupted between the two neighbouring state and the cause of the conflict is on land border.
Recall that the rival communities have several times clashed over boundary demarcation, leading to the death of many, while properties were burnt and destroyed as the number of Internally Displaced Persons continues to multiply in the areas.
Following the crisis, about five elders from Odum Community of Ulayi District in Ado Local Government Area of Benue State were abducted by unknown armed men last month which heightened tension between the warring communities.
Recall also that on Monday, April 2021, armed men invaded Umuogudu Akpu Community, Ngbo, in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and gruesomely killed over 12 innocent indigenes, burnt and destroyed over 56 houses and kidnapped 5 persons.
A few days ago, ten persons were murdered while others sustained varying degrees of injuries in a renewed hostility between the warring villages as scores were rendered homeless.
It was previously reported that Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State had in April 2021 accused the Agila Community in Ado Local Government Area of Benue State of launching attacks on the Ebonyi community which according to him, led to the killing of an unspecified number of residents.
Reacting to the incident, Benue State Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Benue Boundary Committee, Engr Benson Abounu in a statement, urged Governor Dave Umahi to leave Benue out of attacks in Ebonyi communities. Engr Abounu, who expressed disappointment over Governor Umahi’s allegation, urged him to conduct a proper investigation on the incident and retract his claim.
Following the lingering crisis, a member representing Ado, Ogbadibo, and Okpokwu Federal Constituency, Dr Francis Ottah Agbo, has appealed to the Effiom and Ezza people living on the borders of Benue and Ebonyi States to shield their swords and give peace a chance.
When contacted by our correspondent, the Ado Local Government Chairman, Mr James Oche noted that the aged long crisis escalated from other parts of Ebonyi State, stating that it can only be resolved by the state government.
According to him; “What our people are suffering here is as a result of Effiom and Ezza crisis which escalated from Ebonyi to Ado Local Government Area of Benue State. It didn’t originate here so only the Ebonyi State Government can go to the root of the problem and settle the issue between the two tribes,” he stated.
Speaking on Governor Umahi’s allegations that the people of Agila attacked the Ebonyi community, Mr Oche said; “With the report we have, the attack the governor was referring to, was carried out by suspected Fulani herdsmen”.
The Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Anene Sewuese Catherine told our correspondent that she would consult the Duty Police Officer in charge of the area and get back to our correspondent.
However, the Ebonyi State Police Command refuted the recent attack that reportedly led to the death of 10 persons in Ado and Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebony State and Benue State respectively.
The command’s spokesperson, DSP Loveth Odah who spoke with our correspondent on Wednesday, claimed that the aged long crisis had been resolved, stating that, what remains is the proper demarcation of the disputed land border, which according to her would happen soon.