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Tension in Owerri over alleged murder of two by herdsmen

By Chidi Nkwopara

OWERRI—Motorists on the Owerri-Onitsha  highway were held up for several hours yesterday morning, following the protest by Irete people over the  murder of two citizens allegedly by some Hausa herdsmen.

Vanguard investigations revealed that some Hausa herdsmen attacked Umuelele Village, Irete, Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State, in the early hours of Tuesday and killed two people.

It was also gathered that “the deceased persons are not indigenes of the town” but the villagers were aggrieved with the way they were killed by the herdsmen, which they said was most despicable.

“The dead are non-indigenes of Irete. The way they were murdered by the herdsmen is nauseating and that was why we decided to barricade the highway to press home our grief”, a villager,  who identified himself as Emmanuel, said.

According to the villager, “the herdsmen were in the habit of sending their cows to graze in our farms and it was because of this that the villagers killed three cows”.

He confirmed that “the ugly development pushed the villagers to kill three cows and it was in a reprisal attack that the herdsmen killed the two citizens”.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Linus Nwaiwu, confirmed the protest by the  villagers, stressing that the Command quickly sent a detachment of officers and men to the area to restore order.

“I cannot confirm the number that died in the incident. I cannot equally say if anybody has been arrested or not. Doing otherwise would be prempting the outcome of police investigation,” Nwaiwu said.


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