Fresh Shootings: Enugu- Abakaliki Express Road Barricaded

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By Agnes Igwe

The Enugu-Abakaliki high way on Tuesday was barricaded from commuters for hours causing heavy traffic jam, leaving passengers stranded.

The incident was caused by unknown gunmen shooting sporadically at the boundaries between Ezzillo and Iyionu communities in Ishielu Local Government Area of the state, compelling stranded passengers to seek alternative routes.

Recall that there was a renewed land dispute between Ezzillo and Iyionu communities in Ishielu Local Government Area of the state on the 19th day of April 2021 which led to the death of two persons and the state governor David Umahi ordered arrest and prosecution of the Councilor representing Ezzillo ward for trespass.

Speaking in a phone interview with some stranded commuters, Micheal Ezechi and Nkechinyere Osi going to Enugu State from Ebonyi State said that they were stopped from proceeding on their journeys by security operatives sequel to the unrest.

Other passengers Ogbonnaya Mbeh and Joseph Ngwu said they are away from the flashpoint waiting for signals from the security agents. 

 Speaking on the issue earlier, Governor Umahi spoke thus: “On the Iyionu- Ezzillo crisis these misunderstanding have been there for a very long time. Some of these land disputes have been there for over 100 years. And CAN under the leadership of Rev Fr Abraham Nwali, has been working very hard and has really reached a point where the land in dispute was declared a buffer zone. 

“But unfortunately, a Councillor from Ezzillo out of greed took an expatriate investor to the disputed land and that led to shooting and killing where two persons died.

“The Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki has directed Fr. Abraham Nwali to step in and he has done that. So, they have agreed there will be no more shooting and killings and that they will abide by any government decision on it. 

“The security council meeting today 20th April, 2021, directed immediate arrest of that Councillor and for him to be prosecuted immediately.”

Reacting via phone interview, the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Loveth Odah noted that the CP Garba Aliyu has deployed security operatives to quell the problem, maintain peace and open up the road for free movement of people.  

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