No fewer than two persons were killed in a fresh land dispute between the people of Abaomege and Ishinkwo communities in the Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, on Tuesday.
A community source, who pleaded anonymity, said the two persons were returning from a fishing expedition when they were shot dead by the communal warlords.
According to him, the situation has thrown the natives of the two communities into panic, adding that shops in Abaomege, which used to be a beehive of activity, have been shut down since Tuesday morning.
The source said, “What we saw here in the morning of today (Tuesday) was unexpected.
“Two people were killed by the communal warriors this morning and a policeman was also shot, but, as I learnt, he didn’t die. It’s terrible here. People are running helter-skelter. Shops in the popular Abaomege axis have been shut down since morning. There is fear everywhere and the villages are in a panicky situation.”
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The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, confirmed the incident.
Onovwakpoyeya said the two victims were confirmed dead on being rushed to the hospital, while the affected policeman was receiving treatment in an undisclosed medical facility in the state.
She said, “Three persons, including a police officer, who was returning home after the close of work, were shot at the Abaomege-Oshinkwo communal crisis area by the Oshinkwo warriors.
“The victims were rushed to the hospital. Two of the victims (civilians) were confirmed dead but the policeman is responding to treatment. However, intensive manhunt is on for the fleeing suspects.”
ugamatv reports that the land dispute between the two communities has been on for many years.
In 2022, the Director of Legal Services, Ishinkwo Autonomous Community, Mr. Innocent Elum, revealed the communal crisis dated back as far as 1902.
The last crisis that ensued between the two communities claimed no fewer than seven lives in 2022.