From EMMANUELADEYEMI, Lokoja and GEOFFREY ANYANWU, Awka
The Special Adviser to Governor Wada Idris of Kogi State on Media and Strategy, Mr. Jacob Edi has said it was not true that the Ibaji people of Kogi State attacked Anambra people over an oil well dispute Anambra State had claimed that the Ibaji people sneaked into its border community by 1.30a.m on Monday killed four of its people,
kidnapped several others and set ablaze 51 houses But the governor’s aide in a press statement yesterday described the allegation as wicked and untrue and targeted at tarnishing the image of the state Edi, who said communal crisis was alien to the people of Kogi State, however, said it was the Anambra people, who have a tradition of deadly communal crises that had claimed lives He said it was Anambra people, who first provoked Ibaji people when they invaded Udeke and kidnapped two of its citizens, while saying Kogi State Government would not fold its arms and allow hoodlums to unleash terror on its people.
He, however, warned Anambra people to desist from taking the laws into their hands. He urged the warring communities to sheath their swords and allow the National boundary commission comes out with the outcome of its report. In a related development, Governor Wada has expressed concern over the oil crisis between the people of Odeke and Echeno in Igaji Local Government Council of the state. He made this known on Tuesday whe n the delegations of the two communities visited the governor at the Government House, Lokoja.
Meanwhile, a joint police and Army patrol team has taken over security operations at the borders of Enugu-Otu Aguleri community of Anambra State and Echonwa /Odeke community of Abaji Local Government Area of Kogi State, where fresh communal crisis had claimed about seven lives already. The drafting of the combine team of policemen and soldiers in the troubled area according to Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bala Nassarawa, was to calm the apprehension in the area.
Nassarawa, yesterday dismissed reports about killings in the area, stating that what was in the area were mere apprehensions, but that a joint police and Army patrol team had taken over the area with special routine patrol at major flash-points within Anambra and Kogi states axis. He said: “There is nothing like killings and burning of houses, but what is going on in that area is mere apprehensions. “As I speak to you now we have joint police and Army patrol and officers and men have taken over major flash points, where hoodlums would always want to strike. And I must tell you that the area is calm and our men are up to their responsibilities.”
He spoke less than seven hours after former Senator representing Anambra North Senatorial District, Senator Emma Anosike was said to have averted a planned reprisal attacks by youths of both communities, who allegedly had hired the services of local mercenaries and illegally acquired arms for a blood birth. It was gathered the youths from Kogi side had penciled down installations at Orient Petroleum Resources site, the home of the community leaders at Aguleri-Otu, while their counterpart from Anambra had planned to take their onslaught to the home of the clan heads of Echonwa, Odeke community before Anosike’s intervention.