The governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi, has offered to pay N5m to anyone that can give information that will lead to the source of the unidentified corpses found floating on the Ezzu River bordering Anambra and Enugu States on Saturday.
Obi, who was away to the United Kingdom on official duty at the time of the discovery of the dead bodies, cut short his trip after being briefed by his aides on the mysterious development.
He arrived Awka Sunday morning and headed straight to scene of the incident.
The Governor described the killing and dumping of the corpses as barbaric and shocking.
He said, “What happened here is unacceptable in any decent society. Human life and blood is scared and all of us must respect the sanctity of human life.”
The governor, who said the two states would investigate the incident, added that they had directed the police to move in their homicide team and recover the bodies.
The governor directed residents of the two communities bordering the river, Amansea in Anambra State and Ugwuoba in Enugu State to desist from fetching water from the river until the corpses were cleared from the river. Obi promised that the two states would ensure that drinking water was provided for them because of the contamination of the river, which is their major source of water.
He said: “Let me tell the people of these communities that nobody should fetch water in the river again.
We are going to provide the communities with portable water. This river has become poison for anybody and this will be done soonest.”
Meanwhile, the corpses have begun to decompose and are oozing offensive smells in the neighbourhood.
It was gathered that the police, local governments, ministry of health and the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency did not have the facilities to evacuate the corpses.
The Awka Area Commander of the Police told the governor that the Awka North and Awka South Local governments had been passing the buck as to which of the councils should clear the corpses.
The Executive Director of the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Nwabufo Ijezie, said he had reported the matter to the Epidemiology Department of the Ministry of Health, which he said should carry out studies on the corpses and clear them.
It said since it was no longer an emergency, SEMA would no longer handle it.
Residents of the two communities have however been raising concerns about the consequences of allowing the corpses to pollute the river, which they depend on for economic activities, like fishing, sand excavation and water supply.