A communal clash in the Ikolo community of Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State has left two people missing, 17 houses burnt, and property worth millions of naira lost.
The members of the community claimed that over 50 youths from the neighbouring Aku community descended on them in the early hours of yesterday, armed with guns, machetes, and petrol bombs, and set many houses ablaze.
The mood in the village was sombre, as residents mourned the destruction and loss of life.
Following the attack, hundreds of women in the area took to the streets to protest the attack. They called on the Enugu State government to intervene, as they said they were helpless against the violence.
The protesters carried placards that read, “Is Aku more powerful than the Enugu State Government?” “Save our community from the violence of Ogbons Idike.” “Our houses are burnt down, we are homeless.” They called on the government to take action to protect the community.
Florence Ekwueme, the leader of the protest said: “Why we are crying is that we were sleeping in our houses around 1a.m., and 2a.m. when we heard gunshots. When we woke up, we noticed that some of buildings in the community had been burnt down.
“We are calling on the state government to come to the aid of our people. We are a small community and we don’t have people.
“They always attack us, beat up our youths and lock them up at the police station. The certificates of our graduates have been burnt. We are calling on the state government to help us.”
The traditional ruler of Ikolo community, Gabriel Ezugwu, said the community had been locked in a long-standing land dispute which the state government has failed to resolve.
He said every November, his people experience severe attacks from Aku people, who are sponsored by a certain politician.
“This has been happening before. It has been a constant attack. Every November, they come to attack us. Sadly, all these things are happening, but the police have not made any arrest.
“Instead of arresting Aku people who are the aggressors, they will turn around and arrest our people. I called the neighbourhood watch and they were able to repel the attack. But, before then, 12 houses had been burnt down, while five houses were destroyed.”
According to Vanguard, Truthlive news learnt that the Spokesman of the Enugu State Police Command, Daniel Ndukwe, when contacted, said he would verify the information and get back.