According to a report by SaharaReporters, the crisis in Effium community in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, has taken a fresh turn.
The crisis took a new twist on Sunday as hoodlums suspected to be Ezza warriors burnt down a police station in the area.
SaharaReporters gathered that the station housed operatives stationed in the community as a peacekeeping force.
SaharaReporters had reported that Effium and Ezza-Effium people in the community have been engaged in bitter communal conflict in the last three years. Several people have been killed and thousands rendered homeless with properties worth millions of naira destroyed on both sides of the community.
The state government had stationed a joint security team in the community to keep the peace and help bring the conflict to an end.
But the killings and destruction of property have continued unabated with intermittent fighting breaking out among the two groups.
According to reports, the crisis re-ignited over the weekend, leading to the razing of the police station in the area.
Ebonyi State Police Command spokesperson, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, who confirmed the return of hostility and burning of the police station on Sunday, denied reports that the police officers deployed to the area ran out of ammunition to counter the attacks.
A statement issued by the command's spokesperson regarding the incident which was obtained by SaharaReporters on Monday morning, said Ezza warriors attacked the Effium communities but were repelled by security agents.
The spokesperson said, “To set the record straight, there has been an ongoing communal crisis between Ezza and Izzi Communities for years.
“Consequently, the Army, Mobile Policemen, both visiting and State based and Conventional Policemen have been permanently stationed in the Crisis zone.
“However, for the past three consecutive days, the Ezza warriors have launched an attack on Effium Community and the security forces stationed in the zone.”
“The forces had repelled them, but in the ensuing gun duel, the Colonial building used as Police Station was razed down but no casualty on the part of the Police or loss of Arms/ammunition," she added.
The spokesperson said reinforcements had since been sent to the area, and that calm had been restored.
“The Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State Command, Faleye Olaleye is using this medium to warn the aggressors to lay down their arms or face the full wrath of the law,” she added.