Three persons have been reportedly beheaded in the renewed hostility between people of Azuofia Edda Community in Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and Osopong Community in Obubora Local Government of Cross River State.
ADELOVE gathered that the crisis started last week when the people of Osopong Community accused their neighboring community of Azuofia Edda of masterminding the killing of one of their own who was suspected to have been killed by a cult group.
According to Precious Nwite, who hails from Azuofia Edda, the deceased was believed to have been killed with the intention of using his head to bury their traditional ruler who died recently.
The Special Assistant to the Ebonyi State governor on Political Matters, Mr. Jeremiah Oketa, narrating his own account of the incident, said:
“What happened was that on the 13th of this month, one boy from Cross River State called Oyama Osu, an indigene of Obubura village, came in on Okada. He carried along a woman from their place who was going to a market near Azuofia- Edda. According to the woman, a few kilometers away from their village, they noticed that three boys were following them behind with another bike. At Oguobine, the boys waylaid them with their AK 47, shot the boy and behead him”
Oketa, who blamed the dastardly act on the activities of armed youths popularly known as Khaki boys, said, “it is not in our culture to behead people,” adding that the two warring communities had lived in peace before the incident happened.
On his part, Dr Kenneth Ugabala, a Senior Special Assistance to Governor David Umahi on Internal Security, attributed the reprisal attack on misinformation on the part of the people of Cross River State.
He, therefore, called on the two communities to be calm, saying that the governors of the two states were already in a serious negotiation aimed at bringing a lasting peace to the area.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ebonyi State, DSP Jude Madu, said the command was yet to come out with the actual number of casualties, adding that security operatives had been deployed to calm the situation.