THE people of Amansea and their neighbours in Awka, the Anambra State capital, were, yesterday, shocked when they saw bodies floating on the Amansea River that empties into Anambra River from Agba Ogwudu River in Enugu State.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that some people from the communities, who went to fetch water from the river in the morning, discovered the bodies floating slowly, with some wedged on the banks of the river.
The people, it was gathered, after counting up to 50 bodies, alerted their traditional ruler, Igwe Kenneth Okonkwo, who mobilized his cabinet for an emergency meeting after which the state government and the state police command were contacted.
The stench from the decomposing bodies could be picked from about one kilometer from the river and the development attracted many people to the area.
When reporters arrived the scene, indigenes of the communities bordering the river were seen in groups discussing the development, even as they said that nobody from their various communities was missing.
Governor Peter Obi, who was away from the state on official assignment, was immediately contacted and he directed members of the state executive council to move to the spot with a view to finding out the true situation of things.
At the time of filing this report, most of the state commissioners and local government chairmen from some local government areas, as well as other top government officials, were at the scene and posing questions to the communities’ leaders to find out if anybody was missing in their areas.
The state commissioner for local government, Mrs. Azuka Enemuo, who led the government delegation to the area, described the development as terrible.
Enemuo said: “Since our arrival, we have counted about 14 dead bodies floating on this river and we may not have seen the last. We were duly informed by the security agencies and we believe they will carry out investigations to tell us actually what transpired.
“We have already contacted our neighboring Enugu State government to find out if the bodies came from that state. The state government must get to the root of this matter.”
Igwe Kenneth Okonkwo said, apart from the mystery posed by the floating bodies, the worry of his people was that their main source of water supply may have been polluted.
According to him, the river is the only source of water for the five communities of Amansea, Ebenebe, Ugbenu, Ugbene and Oba-Ofemili and the development had caused a lot of discomfort to his people.
Anambra State police command, through its spokesman, Mr. Emeka Chukwuemeka, told reporters that the police would carry out a thorough investigation with a view to unraveling the mystery behind the floating bodies.
Meanwhile, Enugu State Police Commissioner, Mr. Musa Daura, said his command would probe the mystery surrounding the bodies.
The commissioner, who visited the scene, yesterday, said he would join hands with his Anambra State counterpart to investigate the source of the corpses.
According to him, the avalanche of dead bodies remained a mystery because he had not heard of any communal clash whether in Enugu or Anambra where many people were killed.