50 abducted, 300 sustain injuries in Anambra communal war

A renewed bloody communal clash between Omor and Umunbo villages in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State has led to the abduction of 50 persons.

Also affected were over 300 farmers that sustained various degrees of bullets and machete wounds.

The renewed clash, which started during the dry season of last year, is as a result of a lingering land tussle.

Information has it that the crisis was allegedly triggered by suspected farmers who instigated others to seek vengeance.

According to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, a breach of agreement reached between the two monarchs of the two communities sometime last year was exploited adding that some Umumbo farmers were the first to launch attack on Omar farmers.

The source said: “Following a distress call from a traditional ruler simply known as, Igwe Calidon (Ezeaniukwu kingdom), some persons were apprehended.

“Some appreciable number of houses, shops and rice mills belonging to Umumbo community were torched in the heat of the clash in Omor and environs.

“People ran away from their houses for fear of being killed as both communities pushed toward each other in severe confrontational manner.”

It was learnt that by the time police officers got to the area, no fewer than 50 persons were missing as a result of the revenge mission.

It took the intervention of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Uche Okafor, who arrived the area in the company of heavily-armed military and mobile policemen, to calm the raging storm.

Okafor is a native of Ifite-Ogwari and the representative of Ayamelum in the Assembly.

In a statement made available to journalists in Awka on Thursday, the State Government described the conflict as a negation of the strenuous efforts the government and people of Anambra State have been making in the past six years to make Anambra not only the safest and most secure state in the federation, but also the most socially harmonious.

The statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, partly reads: “The Anambra State Government notes with profound sadness the conflict between the people of Umumbo and their neighbours in Omor community, Ayamelum Local Government Area, over land ownership which has in the last two days resulted in one confirmed fatality and the destruction of valuable assets in both places.

“Given that the state government considers the safety of the life and property of every Anambra person an article of faith, those responsible for the violence between the Omor and Umumbo communities will be made to feel the full weight of the law accordingly.”

Adinuba said that security agencies, including the Anambra Vigilante Group (AVG), have been directed to arrest everyone involved in the conflict and bring him or her to justice, saying that arrests and subsequent prosecution in the law court will be made regardless of the status of each person in society.

The Commissioner said that security agents drawn from the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Army and the National Security and Civil Defence Corps have since been drafted to the scene to stabilise the situation and maintain law and order.

“The arrest and prosecution of those connected with the Umumbo-Omor crisis will serve as a lesson to other people who may wish to fan the embers of disunity and crisis in any other part of the state. The utterances and actions of these elements are inimical to the state government’s drive towards the rapid economic and social development of the state,” the Commissioner added.

He assured Anambra people of its unwavering resolve to make the state the most peaceful in Nigeria and beyond, adding that no person can shed the blood of any Anambra person and expect to go scot-free

While noting that life is sacred, the Commissioner explained that though the Umumbo-Omor conflict is an isolated incident, it will attract a robust response from the government (NewsExpress).

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