Ebonyi State Governor David Nweze Umahi on Tuesday lamented the attack on Azuoffia Edda in Abakaliki Local Government Area by people from three communities in Obubra LGA of Cross River State, warning that no Ebonyian would be killed anymore under his watch.
Umahi, in company with security chiefs in the state, including the Commander of Abakaliki Cantonment, Peter Kulawe and Commissioner of Police, Titus Lamorde, described the onslaught on Azuoffia-Edda people as man’s inhumanity to man.
The governor, who was in the nearly deserted community to supervise the distribution of relief materials by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons to the displaced survivors, had earlier been told by the Abakaliki LGA chairman, Peter Nwaogbaga, that the attackers killed four people and kidnapped three others.
A visibly displeased Umahi said: “Under my watch, no Ebonyi man will be slaughtered again. We will not allow that to happen. The essence of coming to leadership is to protect the lives of our people.
“I’m so sad today(Tuesday) and want of speech for this man’s inhumanity to man. It’s so disheartening that this kind of thing will be happening in our society. It’s so shocking,” he said in a statement on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Emma Anya.
The governor told the villagers who gathered at the Azuoffia-Edda Primary School III that he was surprised that the attack on them by the people of Ovuruokpon village, Ogurude and Ohene in Obubura LGA still took place after a peace process between the two neighbouring states had commenced.
Umahi explained that the people of Azuoffia-Edda were wrongly accused by their neighbours in Cross River State of using human head to bury the dead.
He said that people, including security agents who were aware of the tradition and customs of Ebonyi people would testify that such is not practised in Ebonyi State.
“The root cause of the crisis is very funny. We have security agencies in our state who are not indigenes of Ebonyi State and they know very well that we don’t bury people with human beings,” the governor added .
He thanked Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, security agencies and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons for their quick responses to the plight of the victims.
“We shall work extra miles and extra hard with the Presidency with the National Boundary Commission, security agencies and the Governor of Cross River State to see how we can quickly resolve this problem,” he promised.
Anya’s statement said that a 35-year-old woman, who spoke with journalists, explained that her husband who was going to harvest their farm produce was killed by the attackers who struck from three fronts.
“They killed him. He was going to harvest produce early that morning when they accosted him. Now, how am I going to cope with the 15 children I have for him?” she lamented.
In his remarks, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Inter Party Dialogue, Chief J.O.J. Oketa whose house was among those damaged said that seven out of the eight villages in Azuoffia Edda were attacked.