The Police Command in Ebonyi State, on Monday, confirmed the killing of eight persons, including a three-month-old baby and a police officer’s wife, in a renewed boundary hostilities between two communities in the state.
The communities are Ndiagu-Alike in Abakaliki Local Government Area and Enyibichiri in Ikwo council area of the state.
The Ebonyi Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mrs Loveth Odah, confirmed the incident in a press briefing with newsmen in Abakaliki.
Odah said the incident happened on Saturday along the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike Road near the border between the two communities.
“Among the victims were a three-month old baby and six members from the same family who were burnt to death when their vehicle was allegedly attacked and set ablaze by the attackers as well as two others who died from bullet wounds.
“One of the victims is a wife of a police officer serving in the state but who is currently on secondment to Borno to fight insurgency in the Northeast’’.
According to her, the attackers blocked the road and were shooting everyone on sight.
Also, so many other travellers along the road were said to have sustained gunshot injuries and were currently receiving treatment in different hospitals.
“It is a longstanding dispute between Ndiagu, Alike community in Ikwo local government area and Enyibichiri community in Abakaliki local government area that erupted on Saturday.
“A vehicle was seen burning on the road allegedly set ablaze by warriors from one of the communities. The victims were coming from Abakaliki where they attended matriculation of their son.
“Five of them were from the same family including a little baby and one is a neighbour who joined them.
“They were all burnt beyond recognition.
“Also three other persons were also attacked and two of them were killed. One of them, a woman, was the wife of a police officer deployed to Borno State.” Odah said.
The two communities have a longstanding land tussle for decades and all attempts to settle the dispute by successive administrations in the state proved abortive.
Meanwhile, Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali, the Special Assistant to Governor Dave Umahi on Religion and Welfare, had cautioned the communities to sheathe their swords.