About 1,200 people have been displaced in Ette, Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State, following an attack by gunmen suspected to be from neighbouring Enugu State.
One person was killed. Several were injured and over 35 houses burnt.
Ette Community Development Association (ECDA) spokesman Abdullahi Sani alleged that the attack was sponsored by a member of the Enugu State House of Assembly “in his bid to forcefully cede Ette to Enugu State and realise his second term ambition”.
Sani said: “Hundreds of armed thugs were ferried into Ette from Enugu State to eliminate any obstacle to his (the lawmaker’s) political ambition in 2015 and take over Ette. At least, one life has been lost. Several people injured and about 1,200 displaced.
“Homes and businesses, including the only hospitality facility in the district, have been burnt. Vandalism, looting, robbery and arson are ongoing as we speak.
“Education, health and social services, including the General Hospital, have been looted and the resumption of schools has been aborted. The palace of the Onu-Oda-Adogo of Ette, Chief Aaron Ako, was also burnt.”
Sani alleged that the lawmaker was working with the Enugu State government and Southeast governors, “who want to reclaim Ette land and have ensured that the closed Ette Police Station is not reopened”.
He called for the re-opening of the station to stem violence.
The association urged the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and other northern interest groups to assist in ensuring that the Enugu State government respects the Supreme Court judgment which “mandated both states to return to the status quo until the issue of land was settled by the National Boundary Commission”.
It said: “We urge ACF, the Middle Belt Forum and the Northern Governors’ Forum to collaborate with the Kogi State government to galvanise our regional machinery, resources and citizenry to resist and abort the plot to remove Ette district from the North and make it part of the Southeast, an exercise that will grievously alter the geo-political, historical, cultural map and original territorial boundary of northern Nigeria forever.”