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Ezza Community accuses Benue warlords of killing indigenes

Ezza Community accuses Benue warlords of killing indigenes

Indigenes of Ezza Community in Benue State have expressed dismay over unabated attacks and killings by people suspected to be warlords in Ado local government area of the state.

The inhabitants alleged that they had lost over 400 persons in the incessant attacks and killings.

This was contained in a statement signed and made available to DAILY POST on Monday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.

Some Ezza Community leaders who endorsed the statement include; Mrs Perpetual Nkechi Okafor, the President General of Ezza-Ezekuna Benue State, Mr Chinedu Linus Nweke, Board of Trustees Chairman, Mr John Ukoro Izekwe, Emmanuel Chibueze Ngbabu, Publicity Secretary and other.

They accused Uffiom warlords in the Ado local government Area of Benue State of being behind the killings.

” It has become imperative to write this to put the records straight for the general public to know about the undeserved atrocious activities by the Uffiom people against the Ezza people and the unjustifiable double-dealings of some Ado stakeholders aimed collectively to worsen the already exacerbated aftermaths of the crisis.

“Going down memory lane, on the 22nd of January 2021, the ill-fated crisis broke out into a full-blown war between Uffiom and Ezza tribes in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

” On the same day too, the Uffiom people resumed coordinated attacks on Ezza Benue People, ranging from abductions and killings of Ezza people in Ulayi, Odum and further extended the heinous, outrageous and heartless massacre to other Ezza communities under Ado Local Government jurisdiction.

“Exploring some instrumentalities Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), the then Chairman of Ado Local Government Area, Rt. Hon. James Ogaba Oche, on the 11th of February 2021, initiated a peace deal by inviting stakeholders and custodians of both Ezza and Uffiom to Ado for “Covenant and Oath-taking.”

To make the “Covenant and Oath-taking” more comprehensive and all-inclusive, the invitation was extended to our Izzi brothers and all the District Heads in Ado to stand as witnesses.

” The major terms and conditions of that covenant, among others, were that neither Ezza nor Uffiom persons must harm or kill one another in Benue State; That both parties – Ezza and Uffium – should, NEVER AGAIN, destroy properties belonging to each other for any reasons whatsoever.

“That whosoever contravenes the restrictions of the covenant between the two tribes – Ezza and Uffiom – then, the other tribes in Ado, will collectively join forces with those whose person(s) is harmed or killed to fight the defaulters.

‘To our greatest chagrin, however, it would surprise you to know that, since after the Peace Pact mediated by then Chairman of Ado Local Government Area, there has never been a month or even less than that, that passes without a calculated maiming, slaughtering and butchering of countless numbers of Ezza persons in Ado district by the blood-thirsty Uffiom people.

“Yet, Ezza people, being peacemakers and strictest keepers of covenants and oath-takings (entered and agreed upon in good faith) in the history of mankind, have neither contemplated to hurt nor to kill any Uffiom person here in Benue. One faithful day in Ogebe, Apa Ward, more than one hundred and sixty (160) Ezza people were killed in cold blood.

“Again, another day at Okpobula, also in Apa Ward, over forty (40) Ezza persons, most of whom were innocent children, helpless women and aged men, were killed by the rapaciously indiscriminate Uffium warriors.

“Besides, at Nwokwo Odoke, Ulayi Ward, over twenty (20) innocent and defenceless persons were killed; at Odum in Ulayi, five chiefs were abducted in one day, one killed and thrown inside well, while many more were killed on sight; the same applied at Ichari, where one chief was abducted and many killed.

“Also at Otsukputu, more than thirty persons were killed; at Inikiri, over forty (40) persons were attacked and eventually killed; at Ojiegbe, more than thirty persons were killed; at Anmeka, over fifty (50) persons were killed and lately, Uje has also faced a series of unmitigated attacks where aged men, women and children were shot and slaughtered by the said Uffiom warriors unchallenged.

“In summary, over four hundred (400) Ezza persons in Ado have been killed by the Uffiom people and her calamitous agents whereas Ezza people of Benue have neither injured, not to talk of killing any Uffiom person, in Ado, Benue State nor destroyed their properties because we the Ezza indigenous people of Benue state remain law-abiding and are propagators of a harmonious peaceful coexistence between Uffiom people in particular and among other tribes in general.

” Those Uffiom people living together with our people in Odumoke Ijigbam, here in Ado Local Government Area, will attest (if they want to be sincere to themselves) to this because we are still cohabiting peacefully without any rancour or qualms”, the people stated.

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Written by Joseph

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