The Ngbo Leaders Council in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State debunked the alleged attack on Agila traders by suspected erring youths at Okwo-ngbo market on Wednesday.
The group, in a statement signed by the President and Secretary-General, Mr. Okeh C. Okeh, Mr. Emmanuel Etu Odo, and Mr. Cyril Obazi, who is the chairman of the Ngbo/Agila Inter-community Peace and Reconciliation Committee, and made available to newsmen in Abakaliki, said no Ngbo youths attacked Agila youths or traders at the market.
The leadership of the group, reacting to a recent publication alleging that Agila traders were beaten by youths at Okwo-ngbo, expressed bitterness and anger, adding that the publication is capable of causing another crisis between the two inter-state communities, Ngbo and Agila.
Recall that Ngbo people in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and Agila in Ado Local Government Area of Benue State have been engaged in a communal war for the past one hundred and two years, leading to the loss of hundreds of lives and properties worth billions of naira.
It was gathered that the leadership of the two communities, Ngboejogu and Agila, and the local and state governments of the affected areas have resolved to drop their weapons of war and embrace peace and have signed a peace accord on November 18, 2023.
The statement reads in part: “Ngbo youths did not attack Agila youths in Okwo Ngbo Market; there was no disruption of the day’s business activities in the market.
“The two inter-state neighbours dropped their weapons of war and embraced peace totally on November 18, 2023. Since that day, Ngbo and Agila people have been visiting each other, selling and buying in the same market, and sleeping over without fear of any attack or molestations.
The Ngbo Leaders Council further noted that “the report was baseless, unfounded, and deceitful. The Ngbo Leaders Council views this report seriously, considering the sensitivity of the issue falsely reported and the time it came.
“We call on the general public, especially our Agila neighbours, to discountenance the unfounded publication and go about their normal businesses, which include buying and selling in Okwo Ngbo Market,” the group stated.