By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—Tragedy struck in Ejemekwuru community, Oguta Local Council Area of Imo State, Saturday, as soldiers allegedly killed two youths, simply identified as Tochi and Ndukwe, in the presence of Governor Rochas Okorocha at a campaign ground.
Vanguard gathered that Okorocha, who is the Imo West senatorial candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, was in the community to canvass for votes, ahead of the presidential and National Assembly elections, when the tragedy occurred, leaving the governor, his supporters and Ejemekwuru indigenes scampering for safety.
Although Vanguard gathered that the deceased youths allegedly engaged in fisticuffs with the soldiers, it was not clear at press time, what led to the disagreement and what the soldiers were supposed to be doing at the APC campaign ground.
Reacting, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Dasuki Galadanchi, said that reports reaching him, claimed that “only one youth” was allegedly shot by the soldiers, who were on a patrol in the area.
The Imo police boss also said his command had not only intervened, but has also restored normalcy in the area and arrested four suspects in the process.
It’s cult related—Police
Galadanchi further disclosed that the issue leading to the fracas, which resulted in the loss of lives, was cult related.
Galadanchi said: “The issue was cult related. Some youths were having issues outside the APC campaign arena in Oguta Local Government Area and Army officers, who were on patrol in the area, intervened but they were attacked by the youths.
“In the process, an Army officer shot. We have restored normalcy. As I speak, I have recovered the plank and cutlass the youths used in attacking the soldiers.
“I have recovered the vehicle belonging to the APC which the youths snatched.
“We have made tremendous progress in the incident. Four suspects are in our custody and we are ready will ensure that Imo continues to be peaceful.”
Meanwhile, the Ihedioha Campaign Organisation, ICO, has condemned what it called “the violence that trailed the APC senatorial rally of Governor Rochas Okorocha at Ejemekwuru in Oguta Local Government, which led to the gruesome killing of two indigenes of Agwa.”
Ihedioha described the killing of the two young Imo sons as “totally unacceptable and a worrisome development.”