Eight villages in Azuoffia Edda community of Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have been sacked by suspected invaders from Ovuruokpon village in Cross River State.
The attackers burnt down over 200 houses, killed three villagers and beheaded another three, The AUTHORITY has learnt.
Seven out of the eight villages attacked have been deserted by the fear-stricken residents.
Governor David Umahi, who was in the area on Wednesday to assess the situation, almost broke down in tears. He described the attack as “man’s inhumanity to man.”
The governor was in the area in the company of heavily-armed security agents and members of the State Executive Council (SEC).
Addressing the displaced persons at the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs’) Camp at the flank of the Azuoffia Edda, Umahi expressed shock and sadness at the magnitude of the destruction, more so as the assault came a few days after peace talks between the two states had commenced.
He enjoined the Azuoffia community members to remain calm as vengeance belongs to God.
The governor however warned that his administration would not tolerate wanton destruction of life and property of the people.
He commended security agencies and the National Commission of Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons for their prompt responses.
He announced that Ekumenyi/Nwida/Azuoffia Road would be enlisted among World Bank projects to be executed.
The Chairman of the Abakaliki Council, Mr. Peter Nwogbaga, explained that apart from the hundreds of burnt homes, more people had fled the area for fear of fresh attacks.
Nwogbaga recalled that the crises between the feuding communities of Azuoffia Edda and Ovuruokpon began on January 10, 2017 after the people of Ovuruokpon village accused the Azuoffia Edda community of killing and beheading one Ishagha, a commercial motorcyclist.
And in Bayelsa State, suspected oil pipeline vandals have attacked the Korokorosie community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area. The attack followed the arrest of three of their members by the Joint Military Task Force code named Operation Delta Safe and the men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
They were arrested over their alleged involvement in the December 2016 attack on the Ogbienbiri-Tebidaba trunk line operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
The troubled community is the country home of the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Kombowei Benson.
The vandals, who were armed and allegedly led by one China Man, attacked the community in the early hours of Wednesday, shooting to death a youth identified as Erelayefa, who engaged them. Also shot and critically injured were two school pupils from the Community Primary School.
It was gathered that the members of the Oil and Gas Committee in the Southern Ijaw area were not left out in the attack. The home of the Coordinator of the Oil and Gas Task Force and three others were set ablaze over their involvement in the arrest of their colleagues.