Governors of Abia and Imo states – Okezie Ikpeazu and Rochas Okorocha, on Monday, confirmed the existence of a shallow grave filled with corpses – which was discovered in a forest in the boundary community along Uturu axis of Abia State.
According to the governors, the grave was dug by suspected kidnappers, who killed and buried five Fulani herdsmen and two Igbo men.
Speaking after a joint security meeting of the two states, the governors said the incident was not any form of ethnic killing while stressing that it was a case of kidnapping.
Ikpeazu, who was the first to speak, said: “We condemn the killings as it concerns the five Fulani men that were abducted and assassinated in a forest.”
“And we are all united in the fact that the particular forest and such other forests will be rid of criminals that use them as hideouts.”
“It is our responsibility to protect lives and property of people that reside in Abia, as security agencies of both states have been mandated to cross the borders of both states to hunt down criminals.”
Meanwhile, Governor Okorocha said: “We are here to join forces with Abia and to see how we flush out criminal elements in the two states, particularly the recent kidnapping of five Fulani herdsmen. We condemn the killing of five Fulani herdsmen and two Igbo, who were buried in the forest.”
“The culprits have been arrested and they will face the full wrath of the law. I assure you that all of them that were involved will pay the ultimate price for their action.”
“I also want to make the world understand that it was not an issue of ethnicity or hatred for any group, but a case of kidnapping. “We also looked at our porous borders and have declared a joint security patrol.”