Five farmers from Ali Ugwele village in Ekoli-Edda community of Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have been reportedly killed by assailants allegedly from a neighbouring community in Cross River State.
Sources in the area said the farmers were harvesting cassava when they were attacked and murdered in cold blood.
The village and neighboring Erei village in Biasa Local Government Area of Cross River State have been at loggerheads over ownership and control of the palm tree plantation for some years.
It was gathered that one of the attacked villagers narrowly escaped back to his community and he told everyone how they were attacked, and how they killed the five farmers disclosing the identity of the assailants as people of Cross Rivers State.
Chairman of Afikpo South Local Government Area, Dr. Eni Chima, who expressed sadness over the unfortunate incident, noted that efforts were on to protect Ekoli-Edda community.
He pointed out that he would not fold his arms and allow miscreants unsettle the peace in the affected community.
Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Stanley Okoro-Emegha described the situation as “tragic, horrifying and a very sad one”.
According to him:
“There is most likely to be community clashes following the events of the slain farmers, as the people of Ebonyi are planning a revenge attack on the people of Cross Rivers.
“The Government should therefore respond to this situation urgently before it gets out of hand, as emissaries from both communities should be constituted to settle the differences.
There had been relative peace between both sides until the recent attack despite the fact that both communities had a dispute over ownership of Palm tree plantation.