A pregnant woman and nine other persons were reportedly killed on Friday as a result of renewed hostilities over boundary disputes that erupted between the people of Ofioji in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and the Ijutun-Idoru community in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The head of Ofioji community, Mr. Nwobegu Mbam, alleged that the people of Ijutun-Odoru invaded Ofioji in the wee hours of Saturday morning, killed nine persons and razed over 56 houses.
Mbam said, “We were sleeping in our homes when the Cross River Militia, who I describe as callous, invaded our homes and started shooting indiscriminately at our people, killing us in our numbers.
“I call on the state and federal governments to come to our aid before we are completely wiped out by the ravaging Cross River militia.
“During the attack, a pregnant woman, known as Mrs. Ukamaka Nwifuru, was killed, while houses belonging to natives of Izzi community were razed to dust by the rampaging fighters.
“It was very late on Friday night, we had all gone to bed, but suddenly, a very terrifying sound was heard in our community. In the ensuing confusion, we ran out only to see many houses on fire. That was when we knew that the people of Cross River have invaded us again. They were shooting our people without mercy. They burnt our houses and carted away our property.”
Confirming the incident, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, Emmanuel Uzor, described the incident as barbaric and called on law enforcement agencies to investigate the level of involvement of a former minority leader in the Cross River State House of Assembly in the crisis.
The governor’s spokesperson called on the security agencies to arrest the former lawmaker for allegedly arming his constituents with ammunition of war to attack their neighbouring Ebonyi community.
Efforts to get a confirmation from the Police Public Relations Officer in Ebonyi State, Jude Madu, were not successful as calls made to his mobile phone indicated that it was switched off.