Today 5 October, 2022

Unknown gunmen-Police clash: Community accuses Police of invasion

Unknown gunmen-Police clash: Community accuses Police of invasion

The Izombe community in Imo state’s Oguta council area has lamented the willful invasion of the community, which has resulted in shop burning and looting, as well as innocent people suffering bullet and machete cut injuries.

In the early hours of Saturday, gunmen suspected to be members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra/Eastern Security Network clashed with Imo State Police Command personnel in Agwa, Oguta.

The community accused the police of invading her community for reasons unrelated to what had occurred in the Agwa community.

Pauly Igbokwe, who condemned the destruction of community property, stated that “Agwa, where this incident occurred, is not close to Umuokwu Izombe village.”

Amakpuruedere and Amaudara, both in the Oboebor Autonomous Community, are Izombe villages that share boundaries with Agwa. Umuokwu and Ugbele, where police officers set fire to some buildings and two vehicles, are in the Aborshi and Umunwama autonomous communities, respectively

Continuing, he added: ” In one of the buildings burnt is directly opposite the Holy Family Catholic Church, Izombe, where Mrs Anuli Nzeocha, a young widow of about 36 years of age was in the church attending combined Saturday Mass for CMO and CWO when she was informed that they have set her father’s building where her chemist shop was on fire. My question is: what role did she play in such a crime that took place in Agwa if really that was the reason?,” he queried.

“It was October last year that more than 150 buildings were completely burnt and destroyed in Umuokwu, Umuorji and Ndioko all in Aborshi Izombe by soldiers over a dispute they had with village boys.

“Nothing has been done on the colossal damage Innocent people suffered, and yet another attack is launched on the Izombe again,” he said.

Igbokwe stated that they were still at the first Saturday combined Mass of the Catholic Men’s Organization and the Catholic Women’s Organization at Holy Family Catholic Church in Izombe when they received the attack call.

He urged the state government to investigate and put a stop to the repeated incidents of mass destruction of innocent people’s homes in Izombe.

Sampson, a victim, stated that a combined team of police, army, and Ebubeagu Security Operatives invaded Izombe community with at least ten people injured with guns and machetes while seven vehicles were burnt.

He said: ” The heavily armed team equally destroyed and set ablaze about four buildings and 18 fully stocked shops located in the commercial communities of Umuokwu and Ugbele Izombe on Saturday. I was inside the room when I started hearing gunshots and violent noise at the shops’ section of our compound.

“My wife even saw the heavily armed security operatives and they pointed guns at her and ordered her to get inside.

“When their noise became less, we came out, and noticed that the shops’ section of our house was destroyed with seven vehicles burnt in Ugbele village alone,” he said.

Similarly, Uka stated that the group in Ugbele injured one Ethelbert Ozor, Simeon Onyekador, and six others with a gun and machete cuts.

They advised the government to thoroughly scrutinize intelligence gathered and track down and arrest people suspected of being involved in a crime rather than destroying innocent people’s homes.

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