NEWS

Eye Witness Account: Ebonyi Massacre perpetrators dressed like soldiers, targeted only men

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Uneasy calm still hangs in the air around Enugu-Ebonyi axis were gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen targeted villagers in a massacre that left no fewer than 30 people dead.

Independent investigations carried out by VERIFIED NEWS NG reporters put the figure of dead people at 34, although the authorities are claiming 22. An eye witness, who spoke to one of our reporters, said that contrary to reports that the incident happened at Eha Amufu, a town in Enugu State harbouring the Federal College of Education, the killings took place at Egedegede, a border community between Enugu and Ebonyi states.

The source said: “It happened in a town called Egedegede, contrary to reports that it took place at Eha Amufu. But Eha Amufu is the next big town to Egedegede and most of the people who were slaughtered were brought to the morgue at Eha Amufu. As you can see everywhere here is calm and people are living in fear practically.  We have never seen this kind of thing before. Although schools are scheduled to close before Good Friday, schools are deserted currently. People feel the killers are still lurking around. Egedegede in Ebonyi State is separated from Eha Amufu in Enugu state by a small bridge and residents of Eha Amufu usually use the major way through the community to Enugu.”

Explaining how it happened, the sources said: “We noticed unusual movement of soldiers in the community and this prompted suspicion everywhere. It was unusual for that number of fully armed soldiers to come to the town. An ominous sign just hung in the air on account of this. And people started moving away from their homes to seek places of safety. But shortly after, the people dressed in army uniforms struck, going from house to house, but they met most of the homes empty, as people had sought alternative safety havens. When they noticed there were not enough people to kill, they came to the major road and mounted a road block. That was where they got and killed most of their victims. The men were shot and slaughtered with machetes while the women were only injured and left to go home and groan in pains. Most of the people attacked are traders returning from Enugu that night. There was a man who was returning with his wife from Enugu, when the attack happened. He was able to escape unlike his wife. So he returned to see if he could rescue his wife and got killed in the process. If he knew that women were not being targeted, he would have left. He was cut into bits like while his wife was later released after being injured. She is in the hospital now recuperating while her husband is in the morgue. We are now helpless because the governments at both the state and Federal have failed to protect us. The fact that they are targeting only men is a pointer to the fact that the mission is extermination. It is not ordinary. I will urge Ndigbo and the governors to take the issue of security very seriously, before it is too late.”

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi as well as the state’s Commissioner of Police confirmed the incident, promising to bring perpetrators to book.