The communal crisis between people of Ikwo and Abakaliki council Areas of Ebonyi state has, again, reared its ugly head, leading to the death of eight persons including a three-year-old child and wife of a serving police officer.
The Ebonyi killings come as twenty persons were said to have been killed again by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Ungwan Aku village, Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The victims in Ebonyi were burnt to ashes at the weekend while in Kaduna the attackers in military fatigue came shooting and slashing with their machetes as darkness fell on Monday.
“As they shot sporadically, some of us escaped into the bush. The attackers were in military uniforms and bullet-proof vests,” a source said.
He added that the police came into the village in eight Hilux vans but could not enter the bush to fish out the attackers.
In Ebonyi, the victims were said to be on their way from the matriculation ceremony that took place at the Ebonyi State University EBSU and ran into unknown gun-wielding shooters, who shot at the fuel tank of the vehicle they were travelling in. It caught fire and burnt them alive.
The Ebonyi state Police Public Relations Officer, PRO Loveth Odah, told journalists on Monday in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital: “It is a longstanding dispute between Ndiagu Alike Ikwo and Enyibichiri community in Abakaliki that erupted the other day.
“A vehicle was seen burning on the road allegedly set ablaze by warriors from one of the communities.
“The victims were coming from Abakaliki where they attended a matriculation of their son. Five of them were from the same family including a little baby and one is a neighbor who joined them.
“They were burnt to ashes. Three other persons were also attacked and two of them were killed. One of them a woman was the wife of a police officer deployed to Borno state”.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Police Command on Monday confirmed the killings in the State adding that 50 cows were rustled in the attack which it said actually took place in Banono and Anguwan Aku villages.
The Command Public Relations officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo, gave in a statement said the said incident happened on April 8, at about 0930Hours.
“We received a distress call that a group of armed men in large number on motor bikes entered Banono and Anguwan Aku both are remote neighbouring villages in Kufana district of Kajuru LGA.
“The attackers started shooting sporadically attacking the villagers and in the process shot and killed twenty one persons, injured three others and destroyed ten 10 houses.
“The bandits also rustled about fifty 50 cows,” he said.
According to him, the Police repelled the attack adding that efforts are on to apprend the fleeing criminals.
“The Command appeals to members of the public to continue to assist the Police with useful information that could help in addressing these challenges and for the possible arrest of these criminals.” Sabo said.