A bloody clash between anti-Coronavirus taskforce and the youths of Nguzu community in Afikpo South LGA of Ebonyi State, have claimed the life of one Chidi Agwa-Arua while others sustained degrees of injuries and property worth millions of naira were destroyed.
News Express gathered that trouble erupted when members of Afikpo South LGA anti-coronavirus taskforce visited the community to monitor level of compliance of the people to the directives issued by the State Government.
www.weetalknaija.com.ng can authoritatively reports that Governor David Umahi had in response to the Coronavirus disease outbreak in Nigeria banned burial, wedding, religious and social gatherings within Ebonyi State and set up state and local government taskforce to monitor and enforce compliance.
But the taskforce members were reported to have been attacked on the orders of the Lawmaker representing Afikpo South West, Hon. Nkemka Okoro Onuma, who hails from the community, when they entered his compound to know why he was holding an event against the State Government directives.
It was further gathered that following the attack on them allegedly by the lawmaker’s boys, the taskforce team, retreated and came back some hours later to revenge, which led to a bloody clash.
When contacted, the Council Chairman, Eni- Uduma Chima, accused Hon. Nkemka Okoro Onuma of sponsoring attacks on members of the anti-coronavirus taskforce.
He alleged that the lawmaker had out of fear that the people attacked might come for reprisal, organised people to protect him, which led to a breach of public peace, as they allegedly blocked a major road near his compound attacking and robbing passers-by with weapons and vandalising their vehicles.
He said Nkemka Onuma was to blame for the untimely death of the boy, who died due to his failure to control the people he mobilised to protect him as they went haywire and engaged security men in a gun battle.
According to him, the boy was killed by the soldiers during exchange of gun fire.
He said: “I called the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at that point but when they arrived they refused to disperse. They went and reinforced with mobile policemen and soldiers.
“When the security men came back to remove the blockade, they thought it was Ekoli people that were coming to do reprisal and they opened fire and the soldiers returned fire for fire, and killed one person and recovered his gun and others fled with two of them sustaining bullet injuries.
“And one good thing is that the soldiers who killed the boy are not denying it. They have made statements both to the Army and the Police authorities. Nkemka is just trying to trivialise and politicise it.
“The death of that young man was caused by Nkemka for allowing people to mount blockade in front of his father’s compound to protect him and they now used the opportunity to be robbing, attacking and vandalising vehicles going to Ekoli.”
But the lawmaker, Hon. Nkemka Onuma, denied holding or aiding any public event against the Governor’s directives.
He also alleged that the boy was killed by the Chairman’s thugs from Ekoli, led by one Mukoro, who invaded Nguzu community and not soldiers as claimed by the Chairman.
His words: “I simply had visitors as an honourable member and if that was an offence I stand to be convicted. There was no canopy or music mounted in my compound.
“The Chairman sent taskforce to start parading as early as 8am.They passed so many times and did not enter my compound. One Mukoro came around 4pm, and started asking people in front of my compound why they were loitering to incite them for a fight. But he got what he asked for.
“They beat him up and he took off with his motorcycle, came back with a squad of thugs. When I heard some noise, I said who is shooting knockout in my compound, before my Cousins came and reported to me that it was Eni Uduma’s boys led by Mukoro that were shooting guns.
“The boys were in front of my compound and did not cause any blockade. They said an attack on my person is an affront on Nguzu, because I’m their eye, just as Eni Uduma is the eye of Ekoli people. So, the entire community was simply on alert.
Source : www.weetalknaija.com.ng and News Express