It was a moment of grief for the victims and a field day for their attackers who went into Ndiefi-Ishieke village of Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, to cause mayhem to innocent members of the community.
It was gathered, that hoodlums numbering over 50 went into 43 compounds situated within a communal Land, shot some villagers, and destroyed their buildings.
Vanguard investigation revealed that 11 persons were injured and 300 households are presently displaced in the affected community in the State.
Confirming the incident, a key Stakeholder of Ndiefi-Ishieke village, Dr. Nwoba Benjamin who lamented over the attack unleashed on the villagers by some hired thugs alleged that what caused the incident was because the family of Okuku-Ede of Igbogima kindred was laying claim to communal land.
The claim, according to sources, was what caused agitation among the villagers, who insisted that the communal land doesn’t belong to a particular family but to every indigene of the affected village.
Benjamin alleged that some key Stakeholders of the Igbogima kindred were behind the attack on the innocent villagers, who emphasized that the Communal land was not meant for a particular family as many people from the village had over the years getting a fair share of the communal land.
He further alleged that the thugs were led by Ebonyi Council Chairman, Chinedu Uburu, as none of the hoodlums have been arrested so far.
But in a quick reaction, the Chairman of Ebonyi LGA, Mr. Chinedu Uburu denied any involvement in such dastardly acts as such allegations were directed at tarnishing his image.
“Nobody has officially reported to me that there was any destruction in the affected community. Am hearing it for the first time. On the day of the burial, the police were on the ground. If anybody is laying accusing fingers on me, it’s just cheap blackmail. Surely, I will visit the place and alert some security agencies to swing into action.”
According to Benjamin, the thugs from nowhere between Tuesday and Wednesday last week unleashed mayhem on the villagers that opposed the ownership of the land to a particular family
“The thugs were hired and were shooting sporadically. They were led by some members of the Igbogima kindred. About 100 buildings were destroyed. There’s a communal land in the village, which the community usually shares with indigenes of the village when you grow up and get married.
“Okuku-Ede family claimed that it is their land. One of them died and was buried in the Community land even as the community refused such development. At about 3a.m of the fateful day, the thugs started destroying people’s properties. I was reliably informed that SWAT saw them and didn’t do anything.
“Thugs were going from one building to the other causing mayhem and stabbing people. One military man was also involved in the act. The police saw things for themselves but didn’t do anything.
“The destruction took place for 3 days as destruction took place in people’s compound in the Communal land. The land is for the community and not for the Igbogima people. 43 compounds were destroyed and 11 persons were injured as more than 300 hundred people are now displaced.”
The embattled Village Head of Ndiefi-Ishieke village in Ebonyi LGA, Eze Sunday called on the State Government not to take sides with any clan in the affected village but to play a fatherly role by providing unity, peace, and oneness among the people of Ndiefi-Ishieke village.
“We want the State Government to know what is happening. They should not victimize a particular clan but carry everybody along. They should allow those displaced to come back to their compounds.
“The compound of the family that said the communal land belonged to them is from Igbogima. The hoodlums should be brought to book. Our incoming Governor should assist us in maintaining peace in the village He should not look at the kindred dichotomy.
“The State Government should look into the matter. We are very sad about the development. Am the complaint but they are turning me into the accused.”
The victims, Nwodom Alibasa and Romanus Njoku who spoke to Vanguard lamented how their compounds were destroyed and lives were threatened, following the ugly episode that took place in their Village.
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Onome Onovwakpoyeya stated that the Command in the State was not aware of the incident.