The Benue State Government on Friday disputed the claim by the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, that the Agila people of Ado Local Government Area of the state were behind the killing of residents of parts of Ebonyi State.
Umahi had made the claim that the people of Agila were behind recent attacks in his state after a Security Council Meeting at the Government House in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, on Thursday.
Gunmen had in the early hours of April 12 attacked Ebele village, Ngbo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, reportedly killing an unspecified number of people.
The attackers were said to have invaded the village through Agila community, a border town between Ebonyi and Benue States, which have been enmeshed in a boundary dispute.
But in a statement on Friday, the Benue State Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Boundary Committee, Benson Abounu, exonerated the Agila people, expressing disappointment over the statement credited to Umahi.
Abounu said: “While we sympathise with the victims and families of those affected in the gruesome attack, it is important to state that there is no evidence linking the Agila people of Benue State with the offence.
“We are surprised at the attempt by the Ebonyi State Governor to change the narrative and find scapegoats for an action everyone, including the survivors themselves said was carried out by Fulani herdsmen.
“We are amazed and highly disappointed with the statement credited to the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State, His Excellency, Engr David Umahi indicting the Agila people of Ado Local Government Area of Benue State for the Monday, April 12th, 2021 attack on Umwuagodo-Akpu community of Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State in which an unspecified number of people were allegedly killed.”