Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The people of Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State have called on the state and federal governments to investigate the alleged murder of a pregnant woman and four of its people by Finima people of Bonny Local Government Area.
They also claimed that 15 persons were missing and scores wounded after attacks on Andoni natives living in Ajalimoni, Amariari and Light House Fishing Ports on April 9 and 22.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Port Harcourt on behalf of the people, the Chairman,Â Andoni Area Council of Traditional Rulers,Â King Aaron Ikuru, Ikwut II;Â King Job Okuruket-Nnabiget XIV; and King Israel Otua,Â Okaan-Ama Unyeada, condemned what they described as the unwarranted attacks on their people, adding that the incident was â€œcallous, barbaric and wicked.â€
They also berated the Bonny Chiefs Council for attributing the attack to cult activities.
The traditional rulers said they were ready for peace and urged the government to set up a panel to investigate the crime and bring the persons behind the dastardly act to justice, for peace to reign.
Ikuru said: â€œThe Andoni Area Council of Traditional Rulers, received with great shock, chagrin and disappointment the reports of the unwarranted wicked attack on April 9 and 22, 2018 by Finima men on the Andoni people living in Ajalimoni, Amariari and Light House Fishing Ports that resulted in the killing of five Andoni people, many others drowned in the Bonny river and several other persons missing till this moment.
â€œThese acts are callous, barbaric and wicked because there was no justification whatsoever for such ill-intended attacks on our people who have been living peacefully in these areas overtime.
â€œWe, therefore, in strong terms, condemn these actions in their entirety and hereby call on the law enforcement agencies to investigate these matters to unravel both remote and immediate causes of this genocide in the good people of Andoni and bring the culprits to book for the law to take its due course.
â€œGovernment should intervene in the crisis. We want government of Rivers State and Federal to set up a panel and find out the reason for the crisis for peace and sanity to returnÂ to the areaâ€,Â the monarch appealed.
But reacting, Finima General Youth Leader, Eric Tay-Brown, dismissed the allegations, saying earlier claims by the Andoni people were found to be false.
Â He said: â€œThe people of Andoni are not telling the truth. They claimed on April 9, that Finima youths abducted one Prophet Blessing. We got the police, JTF to investigate and nothing of such was established.
â€œNow, we hear the alleged abducted Blessing has been sighted in Ngo, Andoni village. But, they went ahead and attacked Anthony Diepriye, a Finima son, beating him near death. We reported the matter to Police and military, who went in for investigation. But Andoni people attacked the security operatives and I hear it got fatal.â€