Ebonyi-Benue War: Confusion and panic as military invade Ngbo community

The people of Ngbo clan in Ohaukwu L.G.A. of Ebonyi State have raised alarm over what they described as invasion of their area by a baton of armed men who appeared in military uniform. The armed men who invaded the area with a fleet of branded Army Hilux Vans stormed the Umuogudu Akpu axis of the Ngbo clan in a commando manner few days after the Agila People attacked the area, destroying lives and properties worth hundreds of millions of naira.

It would be recalled that the Ngbo people of Ohaukwu L.G.A of Ebonyi State have had an age long communal war with the Agila Community, Ado L.G.A of Benue State resulting to uncountable loss of lives and properties. The incessant war had also forced many communities in Ngbo to vacate their homes and took refuge in their neighboring communities.

Confirming the invasion incident, an eye witness, Mr Agbo Ogala lamented that the unusual visit of the suspected military men last Tuesday has added to the fears in the area and compelled the villagers to run for their dear lives. Mr Ogala alleged that the development has left them with no option than to vacate their homes and squat in the neighboring villages. ‘’We were thrown into panic and confusion when on Tuesday, 25th February, 2020 and Thursday, 27th February, 2020 we saw a number of armed military men surveying our village with fleet of Army Hilux Vans, and you know the Agila people of Benue State just attacked us a day ago. Two days after that, Thursday to be précised, the Army came again and carried out the same suspicious parade and survey. So we became confused on what could have brought the Army without notice, not even the Police. That suggests something to us. When we remembered that the Agila Community has huge presence in the Military, we became more agitated as that could be a ploy to use their sons in the military to wipe us out. We are worried that after the survey visit of the Army, the Agila Militia came and attacked us again, this time in a very severe manner. And I must tell you that we are worried over the coincidence of invasion of the Army and attacks by the Agila militia before and after the invasion’’ Mr Ogala lamented. He called on both the Federal and Ebonyi State Governments to quickly investigate the mission of the suspected military men and forestall alleged connivance of the Agila people with the military to force Ngbo into extinction.

A Community Leader from Umuogudu Akpu and the Chairman, Vigilante Committee, Mr Esheya Attah expressed dismay over the recent offensive attacks on Ngbo by the Agila militias and the invasion of the suspected Military men. He regretted that while the Ngbo people are committed to the peace process, their Agila neighbours have sustained attacks on the people leading to loss of many lives and properties. Mr Esheya Attah alleged that the Ngbo people have received earlier information that top military officers from Agila are making plans to use the military machineries to lunch attacks against Ngbo people. He alleged that the baton of soldiers that paraded around Umuogudu Akpu Community and other parts of Ngbo last Tuesday and Thursday consecutively is giving credence to the earlier information as it could be part of the arrangements to study ground before unleashing mayhem on the people. ‘’This recent attacks on Ngbo people took place about one day before the military came and another one came two days after they came. And these recent attacks were quite unusual, highly coordinated, such that we are thinking that something is wrong somewhere. This is a war zone and you know, this type of action cannot be taken for granted. They have much strength in the Army and we think they want to fight us with what they have’’ MrAttah added. He called on the government and the Military High Command to investigate this planned attack to avoid further loss of lives.

Speaking to News men, the Traditional Ruler of Umuogudu Akpu Commuinity, H.R.H Eze Godwin Ogba expressed displeasure over the recent invasion and the accompanying attacks by the Agila people before and after the military invaded the community. He lamented that the people of Ngbo are now living in fears more than before with this development of suspected military involvement in the Ngbo-Agila communal clash. He called on the military hierarchy to caution their men from Agila axis not to bring bad name to the Army.

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