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CLASH OF TITANS: Mayhem as two Abakaliki clans clash in Ebonyi

Posted by By GODDY OSUJI, Abakaliki on 2008/05/14 | Views: 829 |

CLASH OF TITANS: Mayhem as two Abakaliki clans clash in Ebonyi

Two kindred in Umueguduagu-Akpu community in Ohaukwu Local Government area of Ebonyi State have been locked in clannish rivalry for a very long time.

Two kindred in Umueguduagu-Akpu community in Ohaukwu Local Government area of Ebonyi State have been locked in clannish rivalry for a very long time.

Daily Sun reliably gathered that the cold war that started like a tiff soon developed into major crisis, which necessitated the intervention of community elders and religious leaders to restore peace. But before then, the rivalry has claimed the life of a 22-year-old undergraduate of the Ebonyi State University in a skirmish that saw several other persons wounded and many houses torched in a reprisal attack.

Those who facilitated the peace meeting included Pastor Vincent Oge of Deeper Life Ministry; Rev. Fr. John Odeh, Rev. Fr. Peter Onogo, Justice Obande Ogbuinya, Chief Thamos Izekwe and elders of all the kindred units. At the meeting, the activities of some leaders in the community were x-rayed and blames apportioned accordingly.

The meeting, according to a source, resolved that leaders of each kindred should restrain their youths from causing further mayhem.
It was, however, discovered that no sooner than the peace summit was consummated than the most terrible attack from Ndioyibe family was launched. The source disclosed that a group of young men with the support of some of their leaders formed a notorious gang that set up road blocks along the community road to apprehend innocent persons going about their normal businesses. The innocent persons were beaten into a state of coma, resulting in several court cases that are still pending at the various courts, while many of the incidents were never reported as the gang always threatened to kill their victims if they dare report to the police.

One of the cases pending in courts is the attack on one John Ogba, who on October 9, 2006 was beaten with iron rod and stabbed with a knife. He became unconsciousand pretended to be dead before his attackers abandoned him. He was later seen a day after the beating still in coma and taken to hospital where he was revived after several months.

Also, Jacob Akah was apprehended by the group at the road block and he had his legs and hands bound and taken to one Eze Oselebe’s compound where he was beaten into state of unconsciousness, and dispossessed of his motorcycle. And early last month, there was another attack on one Sunday Oyibe.

The current crisis was caused by the attack on the undergraduate of the Ebony State University, Christian Erema, on the recent Easter Sunday along Egwudulegu Ndulo road that led to his death. He was said to be standing by the road side, while waiting to be joined by his relations who were then approaching him when the gang in a convoy confronted and beaten him severely to a state of coma before abandoning him to his fate.

He was carried to the Divisional Police Office at Ezzamgbo where the DPO detailed two of his officers to accompany them to the Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, where he was given admission, but he gave up the ghost the following day.

Consequently, his death resulted in spontaneous reprisal that has drawn some prominent members of the government and a senator into what could be described as another cold war. This has prompted Governor Martin Elechi to wade into the crisis, but his intervention, it was alleged, is yet to make any positive impact in bringing lasting peace to the troubled community.

According to the Chairman of Ohaukwu Local Government area, Mr. Sunday Iduma, “the governor had public hearing with all the segments of the people that made up the community, the elders, peace committees that were set up when the crisis developed, church leaders, youths and the parties directly involved in the crisis.

He was said to have interviewed them, directing the state police commissioner, as a matter of urgency, to effect immediate arrest and prosecution of those who were involved in the murder of Erema.
He noted that because he is a politician, if anybody kills, he should not say the person should not face the wrath of the law.

“And I think that is the position. We are watching and waiting for the police to do their work even when those who committed the dastardly act may be on the run. Law enforcement agencies know the way to track them down, more so when they live within the community,” he said.
On the alleged incitement by Senator Tony Agbo, Iduma said that “when somebody is accused of murdering another person, you don’t expect that person to rest and be arrested and prosecuted. He will bring up issues that would try to divert the attention of people from the subject matter.”

Pointing out that the petition by the Oselebes was just to divert attention, he said: “Í want to make this issue clearer to everybody, including the press and police that the police should get up and do their work. That petition they are putting up is targeted at diverting attention of the police from the murder which is the main cause of the problem because if somebody has not been killed in the community, there wouldn’t have been any problem”.

The chairman insisted that from the report reaching his council, the young man was waylaid on the road and beaten up by more than 10 persons with the support of some prominent men in the community. “The perpetrators belong to one kindred called Ndioyibe-the Oselebes”.
Interestingly, he added “the cause of the problem is a personal acrimony and petty jealousy that has existed between the particular kindred and others. This particular kindred, Ndioyibes, thought they are the only people who should occupy prominent positions and own property within the community. So, once anybody springs up from another kindred, the risk of such an attack will always be there. Remember the kind of jealousy exhibited by King Herod when Jesus was born and pronounced the King of the Jews.

“The senator’s cousin in this matter was killed and the reprisal action led to the destruction of property which is natural because you can’t kill somebody and his people will sit back and watch; there must be reactions. It is just normal that the senator was able to restrain his people from even killing some people as at that time”, he explained.

The Oselebes had in a petition to the Inspector General of Police accused the senator of using a militant group to unleash mayhem on the people of Ndiyoibe where houses were damaged, vehicles burnt, property destroyed and looted.

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