By Nnaji Emmanuel Abakaliki
Two persons have been killed and five others abducted in Ekoli Edda in Afikpo South local government area of Ebonyi State
The police said the victims were attacked by gunmen from the neighbouring Biase local government area of Cross River State.
The two communities have a dispute over a palm plantation on their boundary.
Police spokesperson in Ebonyi State, Loveth Odah, in a statement said the two dead victims were a couple.
She gave their names as Ndukwe Okoroafor, aged 55, and his wife, Paulina Ndukwe, 49.
“On June 30 at about 4 p.m, the DPO Afikpo South received a distress call that gunmen from Biase LGA of Cross River State attacked some persons at Erei Palm Plantation located at the boundary between Ekoli Edda in Afikpo South L.G.A of Ebonyi State and Biase LGA of Cross River State.
“Following the report, the DPO quickly contacted the youth leader of Ekoli Edda who also informed him that an eyewitness to the alleged attack, one Kalu Ndukwe, narrowly escaped with bullet wounds but saw his father, one Ndukwe Okoroafor ‘m’ aged about 55yrs, and his mother, one Paulina Ndukwe ‘f’ aged about 49yrs, being slaughtered by the attackers.”
The police spokesperson said the gunmen also abducted five others, namely Esther Ikwo, Elizabeth Ikwo, Chinechere Nnachi, Ogbonna Aku and Sunday Ogbuu Ama.
The victims, according to Mrs Odah, were taken to an unknown destination together with the corpse of the Ndukwe couple.
Mrs Odah said the commissioner of Police, Philip Maku, condemned the attack as hideous and barbaric.
She said the commissioner dispatched a team of police officers and soldiers to the area with a view to rescuing the abducted persons and arresting the assailants.
“Furthermore, the CP has enjoined residents of the area, especially the youths, to maintain peace, avoid taking law into their hands or acting in ways that could jeopardize investigation into the matter.
“Meanwhile, preliminary investigation revealed that the attack is as result of resurgence of the longstanding communal feud between the people of Ekoli Edda in Afikpo South L.G.A of Ebonyi State and Biase L.G.A of Cross River State over the Palm Plantation.
“To this end, the good people of Ebonyi State have been enjoined to remain law abiding and assist the Police with credible information that will lead to the arrest of the culprits”, she added.