50 Persons Missing, 300 Injured in Anambra Communal Clash


David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

At least 50 people were reportedly missing in Anambra State communities of Omor and Umubo in Ayamelum Local Government Area after a communal crisis between both communities.

Also, about 300 persons from both communities, mainly farmers, were also said to have been injured during the crisis, resulting from a disagreement over land.

This was made public thursday by some members of the communities after security agents were drafted in to restore normalcy in the area.

Members of Omor community, who spoke to journalists Thursday, said the crisis which started three days ago cost scores of persons their lives, stating that after calm returned to the community, it was found out that some members of the communities were still missing, while over 300 people sustained injuries within the period of the crisis.

THISDAY gathered that peace returned to the community after the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Uchenna Okafor, who is a representative of the area in the assembly, led fully armed security agents, including soldiers, mobile policemen and others, to restore peace in the area.

A member of the community, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “This one (crisis) is recent. Some people who lost their loved ones during the initial crisis which started last year were pushed to take revenge, and that was what started this one. Many houses were destroyed within the one week that this crisis lasted, and thank God, it has come to an end.”

Meanwhile, the state government has condemned both communities for engaging in fresh crisis, after a truce had initially been met.

The state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C. Don Adinuba, in a statement made available to THISDAY in Awka, said the government is saddened by the loss occasioned by the crisis.

According to him, “The Anambra State Government notes with profound sadness the conflict among the people of Umumbo and their neighbours in Omor community over land ownership.

“Security agents drawn from the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Army and the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have since been drafted to the area to stabilise the situation and maintain law and order. In addition, a curfew has been imposed in the two communities from 6p.m. to 6a.m.

“This conflict is a negation of the strenuous effort the government and people of the state have been making in the past six years to make Anambra not only the safest and most secure state in the country, but also the most socially harmonious.”

Contrary to the huge number of death said to have been recorded from the crisis, Adinuba said only one fatality was confirmed.