Ex-LG chairman raises alarm as suspected Enugu militia attacks Benue community, Agila over boundary dispute

The immediate past Caretaker Chairman of Ado Local Government Area of Benue State, James Ogaba Oche has accused a militia known as Ngbo of attacking some communities in the area.

Oche disclosed that Ngbo, a militia from Enugu State attacked the people of Agila community on Tuesday.

This latest attack on Agila community brings to the four the age-long boundary dispute between Agila and some border communities of Enugu and Ebonyi States.

However, a statement signed by Oche on Thursday said the latest attack has left the entire community in fear.

The statement reads: “We are grievously embittered by yesterday’s unprovoked attack on our people of Agila community by the Ngbo Militia of Enugu State on Tuesday, 25th February 2020.

“The age-long communal clash between border communities in Benue, Enugu and Ebonyi States has obviously taken a different turn as yesterday’s attack on Agila, a community kilometres away from Igumale, the Local Government Headquarters has occasioned devastating effects and led to the evacuation of several other communities within the region for fear of impending terror.”

The former Caretaker Chairman lamented that the attack was coming at a time both the Federal Government and the Benue State Government were working towards the delimitation of the border communities.

He insisted that the attack was an attempt to disrupt the “rebeaconing process” which would bring an end to the boundary crisis being witnessed.

“This attack we state unequivocally is coming at the heels of the delimitation exercise being executed within the area by the National Boundary Commission as instructed by the Presidency and being critically monitored by the Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom. The invasion is a clear attempt to disrupt the rebeaconing process, hence the Ngbo community has for long defiled government’s efforts to put the boundary crisis to permanent rest.

“Within the outgone week, the Ngbo militia had made two minor attacks on our Communities which we reported to security agencies before Tuesday’s mega hit which left our people scampering for safety as the assailants attacked in all directions leading into the town. The Government Secondary School Agila and St Peter’s Catholic Church were the worst hit.

“Let it be known that not fewer than six thousand persons have been displaced from our communities to include Ulayi, Ijigban and Ekile as fear gripped the people living there after the attack on Agila. We are living in fear except something is done as a matter of emergency,” he added.

On how the government can permanently resolve the crisis, Oche said: “Insistence on the complete execution of the demarcation process no matter the defiant aggression of the Ngbo people which will clearly define the landmass for the border communities.

“The Federal Government should construct a Trunk A road that will connect the two states along the disputed area to open up the area to commercial activities.

“We call on the Federal Government to construct a Military Barracks around the disputed area to put to the rest, any intention to resort to warfare at the slightest on perceived provocation.

“We call on the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA) and the Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to quickly come to the aid of the internally displaced persons whose hardship is substantial.”