Sat. May 18th, 2024

•Says they’ve sacked 11 communities

•Villagers flee in Imo, as gunmen set ablaze houses, motorcycles

Arsonists were wearing security uniforms – eyewitness

•I don’t have any information they were security men – Police

By Chinonso Alozie

Villagers have fled, abandoned their homes in Ihitte Afoukwu, Okpokunme, communities in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo state, when armed men in security attire
invaded the communities and set ablaze houses.

It was gathered from the affected communities the invasion started on Saturday night.

At the time of filing this report, the reason for the attack was not known but some of the eyewitnesses told Vanguard that the armed men were in security attire and in a long security convoy.

The eyewitness claimed that the operation was targeted on about three persons and that they were able to capture some and others ran away.

He also told Vanguard that some of the houses set ablaze were many adding that it was unfortunate the fire travelled into other houses of other people living around the affected areas and damaged hundreds of properties.

A source from the village told Vanguard that, “Houses belonging to one Chinonso Madu, in White Afokwu, in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo state, was razed down by men in security uniform, they came in 10 vehicles. The most painful was that other houses were affected and they got burnt.

“They came early hours of Sunday morning started shooting everywhere they entered into our community and everybody started running.

“Many of us started running even in the process we got injured. Many people abandoned their homes and ran into the bush to avoid gunshots that were coming from all angles.

“Even those who were coming back from the church as of the time the incident was happening ran into other villages when they heard gunshots coming towards their directions.”

Another source told Vanguard, “This operation started on Saturday night when they were pursuing some of these boys and some of them were captured. I don’t know what they were doing but you will notice that these people in a long security convoy have been patrolling in these our area. They went straight to the houses of the people they targeted and captured some others ran away.”

When Vanguard called the Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Michael Abttam, to know if he was aware whether it was a security operation, he said: “I don’t have any information that it was security operatives that went to that operation.”

In a related development, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), led by incarcerated Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has accused personnel of the Nigerian Army, the Police and South-East security outfit, Ebube-Agu, of “operating” the notorious “unknown gunmen” and have sacked no fewer than 11 villages and killed youths in Imo State and other states in the South-East region.

IPOB listed the communities affected to include Oboh Umutanze, Attah, Okporo, Amaifeke, Ihioma, Ama-azu, Amannachi, Nnempi, Akata, Orsuihiteukwa and Umutanze.

The pro-Briafa independent state group made the accusation in a statement by its spokesman, Emma Powerful.

They urged the international community and rights groups to send teams to the said villages for confirmation.

The pro-Briafa independent state group made the accusation in a statement by its spokesman, Emma Powerful.

They urged the international community and rights groups to send teams to the said villages for confirmation.

IPOB called “on the United Nations, America, British High Commissioner, Israeli Ambassador, German Ambassador, French Ambassador, Canadian Ambassador, Japanese Ambassador, Australian Ambassador, Amnesty International, Intersocity groups, Human Rights Watch and all  human rights organisations across the globe to send teams to these communities and find out what the situation is.

“They will confirm to their amazement that nobody is dwelling in these communities.

“Imo youths and people have been indiscriminately and mercilessly killed by terrorist-soldiers deployed in Imo State by the federal government in collaboration with the state government.

“The incessant killing of youths of these communities have turned the affected communities into ghost towns.

“IPOB is out now to expose these atrocities committed by the Nigerian Army and police, including Ebubeagu security outfit.

“It’s too appalling that Ebubeagu security outfit would join hands in killing our people and call them ‘unknown gunmen’. History will judge them all.”

Credit | Vanguard

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