Oruku community in the Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State was thrown into chaos again on Wednesday morning as a group of militants allegedly burnt 10 houses belonging to another group in the community.
Among the houses burnt on Tuesday and early hours of Wednesday was that of the murdered traditional ruler, Igwe Emmanuel Mba; former local government chairman, Hon. Ejike Ani and his younger brother, Agozie Ani.
SaharaReporters also gathered that the warring group also shot and killed one man on Christmas Day in his house.
Decrying the incident, Mr Agozie Ani told SaharaReporters that everything in his house was razed down.
“Over 10 houses were burnt in Oruku from 25th December 2022, including my own, Hon. Ejike Ani and the late Igwe Emmanuel Mba’s houses.
“They also shot and killed one man on Christmas Day. Our crime was supporting Gov. Ugwuanyi’s peace deal on Oruku – Umuode crises and he abandoned us,” Ani lamented.
In a video showing the burning of the houses seen by SaharaReporters, on Wednesday morning, the arsonists were overheard saying “This is house of idiot Ejike Ani, the devil that brings ruin to Oruku by joining the weakling called Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
“This is his house – this is boys’ quarters, this is also his building. We have built him a new house so that his house will look like his own group. He is a human being. This one is the second building. He is the one that caused all the problems we have in Oruku. We have built a storey building for him now because the bungalow doesn’t fit him any longer as the former local government chairman, who is destroying the community.”
In a second video showing a burning bungalow, the background voice was overheard saying “Agozie Ani this is your own house. We have built two-storey building for you. This is the house of the vengeance. This is your home since you feel that there was no strength, we want to show you that there’s strength. This is the beginning, you will stay outside to come and implement your governor’s peace. You and your men have been boasting to deal with us but we are already dealing with you and your governor.”
SaharaReporters had reported on November 18, 2022 that same criminals who had vowed that there would be no peace in the community had killed two people that supported Enugu State government peace and reconciliation initiative.
The two victims were killed at Aguikpa community, an autonomous community Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi created from crisis-ridden Oruku community in an attempt to create peace but later abandoned the community to their fate.
The then victims were one Ikechukwu Nnamani, a former President General of Oruku community and one Ndubuisi Nnamani, a native of Aguikpa community.
Meanwhile the gunmen have been terrorising the people of the area, killing and setting houses of opponents ablaze after the Enugu State Government set up a judicial panel into the Oruku – Umuode communal conflict.
The findings and recommendations of the panel had since been submitted to the state government but not much has been heard about its implementation.
SaharaReporters reports that no fewer than 11 persons including the former traditional ruler of Oruku community, Igwe Emmanuel Mbah and other personalities in the community, had been eliminated as a result of the conflict.
In September one Chikodili Ngwu was killed. His murder came barely three weeks the President-General of the community’s Town Union, Chief Linus Nwatu, was murdered in cold-blood in his house.
This recent killings had brought to 12 on the list of indigenes of the Communities murdered by gunmen believed to be working for some powerful personalities including a military general involved in the protracted communal conflict in the area in the last two years.
Efforts to get reaction of the police were unsuccessful as the Command’s spokesman, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, could not be reached on telephone as at the time of filing this report.