ezu body

Water related epidemic may have broken out among the Amansea and Ebenebe communities of Awka North LGA in whose area the mystery dead bodies were discovered last week.

The two communities that sit tangentially at the border between Anambra and Enugu states woke up last Saturday morning to behold the gory sights of male corpses floating on the Ezu River, a tributary of the famous Anambra River from which the state got its name, their trauma appear to be merely beginning.

The corpses according to witnesses number more than 40 on the first instance had kept floating gingerly down from the Enugu end of the vast and calm tide of the river.

This immediately attracted the swift attention of some top federal and state government officials. And first to storm the location that afternoon when the heart-rending story and bizarre sight spread was the Commissioner of Police Enugu state, Musa Daura. And as we file this report yesterday, four more corpses had emerged just as Senator Chris Ngige in whose constituency the Awka North LGA is located visited.

Daura had said then that his command would swing into action immediately to unravel the source of the mystery corpses, adding that he was not aware of any communal clash around to warrant such huge carnage. His visit attracted numerous onlookers who were anxious to catch a glimpse of the gory sight. Closely after his departure, his Anambra counterpart, Bala Nassarawa came there too. He too was visibly worried and disturbed over the sight.

The bodies which source or identities were yet to be unraveled were suspected to have been dumped at a point in the river by unknown persons few days earlier before it customarily came afloat, according to experts. Strong suspicions and speculations blame the sordid act on the pervading regn of impunity and extra-judicial executions.

The natives told reporters that the bodies were first noticed by fishermen and sand excavators at the Amansea section of the river as some of the bodies were trapped at the river bank by reefs and other objects in the river.

When our correspondent visited the palace of Igwe Christopher Nnaegbunam of Ebenebe, early yesterday, he was met consulting with the chiefs and elders of the community on their next line of action. According to him, Amansea, Ebenebe , Ugbene and Awba-ofemmili communities drink directly from the Ezu river as they have no other stream, tributary or pipe-borne water. They cook, wash, bath and drink therefrom. He therefore lamented that most of the citizens of the named communities have already contracted various water-borne ailments for drinking the polluted water unknowingly. He urged government to warn the citizens including fishermen all over the country to stop using any form of chemical in fishing as they have potentials of harming human beings on a permanent basis.

Igwe Nnaegbunam bemoaned a situation where Ebenebe has no road, no water, no functional health centre, erosion control or reliable electricity supply or tangible government presence, and now they have lost their only source of water. He appealed to both the federal, state and local governments to come to their aid immediately with drinking water, health care supplies and other infrastructures that make life more meaningful. For the boreholes to be made very functional and permanent basis. Moreso for the government to provide a permanent check point and security beside the two bridges on the old and new roads respectively. There is also the need to clear all the refuse on the bridge, illuminate the bridge approaches from both the Enugu and Anambra ends too. These, if implemented would check all kinds of unacceptable things including rituals that were dumped into the river from those places on a daily basis.

On the efforts so far made by his community to get the government attention, the worried monarch said he has contacted the chairman of the Awka North LGA transition committee who merely promised to arrange the spraying of some chemicals on the river. He feared that water borne disease remains one of the worst kinds of ailments that could afflict any community. He also feared that since reports from the alleged autopsy carried out on some of the corpses indicated no gunshot or matchet wounds, then it might be more dangerous to drink any water infested by such corpses as the cause of their death could be very poisonous, that could spread to the water and any surrounding environment.

The traditional ruler of Amansea, Igwe Kenneth Okonkwo, described the development as unfortunate, saying the community has never seen this kind of gory sight.

He said that he could not say how many corpses had been seen, but confirmed that a lot of bodies had floated past.

Governor peter Obi, who was said too have cut short his overseas trip to enable him visit the scene immediately put a price tag of N5million for anyone who gives a clue to uncover the source of the mystery corpses.

But the commissioner for Local Government, Mrs. Azuka Enemuoh, who visited the scene expressed doubts about the source of the corpses.

She observed that, ?It is obvious that these corpses are floating from somewhere and I can tell you we haven?t seen the last of it.

?We cannot say for instance that this the number because they are still floating from the account we have corpses are still floating down into Anambra State.?

So far, the government of enugu State is as openly disturbed as the Anambra state and both have been working round the clock to unravel the mystery behind the source of the corpses.

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