Suspected herdsmen have killed at least 30 Ebonyi indigenes in an early morning attack on Sunday.
The assailants were said to have attacked Odoke, Ndiobasi and Obakotara communities in Ebonyi local government area of the State.
According to the Vanguard, the incident occurred around 3am on Sunday morning.
The affected communities share boundary with Ado Local Government area in Benue State. A resident in the area, Uchenna Okpokwu told the newspaper that the herdsmen invaded his Community with guns and machetes. “They came into Ndiobasi village and started slaughtering the people. After slaughtering them, they entered Odoke, from that Odoke, they went to Obapta.
“Currently, people that were slaughtered in Ndiobasi are up to 30 according to the video clips on the incident but Odoke and Obapta are very far and nobody was able to entered those two villages to capture those that were killed.
“When I received call from one of my villagers over the attack, he told me that the herdsmen are currently at Ojaba forest and that place is their hideout because there is no other way for them to escape. The herdsmen are currently in that forest as at the time I was called on phone.
“I was told our Local Government Chairman went with some security men but couldn’t get to the affected villages. If there is a way security agents will be sent to the affected villages, it will be good.
“Currently, I have been trying to reach my family members on phone but their lines are not through and all of them are in the village”, he said.
Another resident of the area, Onyibe Jeremiah lamented that no action was taken to protect the communities despite earlier warnings of the herdsmen impending attacks.
Hé said” One young man from Enugu state that saw the herdsmen when they were coming into the Ebonyi villages made the voice call that went viral to alert the state but it appears that it was ignored which was why these attacks were recorded despite the alert.
“Nobody took that voice serious and the herdsmen came and killed not less than 30 people now. They are currently attacking more villages.”
The Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT) confirmed that two children were killed while being taken to the hospital for treatment. The NGO said it has scrambled a team to the area to help in treatment and evacuation of victims.
“Terrible scenes at Ohagelode Health Center this morning. An attack on an Izzi village inside Benue State, allegedly by herdsmen, resulted in many casualties.
“Many were carried all the way to Ohagelode Health Center. The Uloanwu Ambulance was called and (eleven) 11 person’s, six adults and five children, were transported to AEFUTHA in Abakaliki.
“Sadly two children already died after reaching AEFUTHA. An AMURT team of doctors, lead by Dr. Omogo, the MD of AMURT has rushed to Ohagelode. We are trying to support the wounded carried to AEFUTHA, the statement by AMURT West Africa”, the statement said.
The Chairman of Ebonyi Local Government Area, Chinyere Nwaogbaga confirmed the incident, saying she went to the area and helped to evacuate many of the residents from the area to hospital.
“Yes, the communities are Izzi(a clan in Ebonyi) speaking communities but they are geographically located in Benue. Since they are indigenes of Ebonyi though located in Benue, the State governor directed we go and bring them to hospital and treat them and also give them relive materials”.
She said more buses have been sent to the area by the local government, the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly and the state government to evacuate more victims.