By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri
Otoko community in Obowo local government area of Imo State was thrown into a deep confusion after a police officer, allegedly shot dead a 25-year-old boy Ikenna Ukachi.
Many have linked the cause of the killing to the argument from a local drinking joint between the said officer and his victim as well as his other friends.
However, disturbances from the drama that led to the killing of the young man then brought several tragic stories to the community and to the Otoko police station, where the accused officer was attached.
The said police station was set ablaze which following allegations that firearms belonging to the officers were carted away by the angry youths.
Different versions of the story continued that the angry youths mobilized themeslves from different kindreds and marched out in anger to Otoko police station and set it on fire while the officers on duty took to their heels to avoid being caught by the angry villagers.
But what many described as worrisome is the carting way of arms. And the big question is, in whose possession are these said firearms? What are they doing with them and now where are the firearms?
Some were of the opinion that the police should swing into action to recover the said firearms if actually they were carted away as well as commenced a strategic police community/relations to build a friendly atmosphere between the police and the community after causing them pains.
They added that it is not enough to declare the accused police officer wanted but that a pragmatic step should be taken further with a concerted effort in apprehending the police officer who is at large. He should be made to face the law to a logical conclusion.
A community leader in Otoko, who pleaded anonymity begged the police to show they are serious about giving justice to the bereaved family.
He said: “We have heard stories of many people shot dead by police officers and at the end of the day, nothing is done. How can a police officer given gun to protect people now use it to kill the people? And if such things are not checked, they will become a trend. The reason is that they do this and nothing is done. Let me tell you, the community people are not happy with the police in the area.
Anything can happen because they are very angry. So, the police must take result orientated steps to get to the root of the matter.
If not, the villagers will not be happy with them. This is a young man, a promising young man for that matter. How will you explain to the parents that this is what happened to their son. This is heart- breaking and that is why we say that justice must be done.
“We should ensure the police officer is arrested tried and prosecuted. If it were a civilian that killed a police officer, by now, the whole village would have been on fire. Nobody will be in this village. They would have come to showcase how powerful they are.”
However, the governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha has visited the family of the victim. He assured them that his government would stand by them.
Ihedioha alongside his deputy, Gerald Irona, Imo state commissioner of police, Rabiu Ladodo, the chairman of Imo state traditional rulers, Samuel Ohiri, as well as the Special Adviser to the governor on Security, Raymond Nkemdiri among others came to comisreate with the family of the bereaved at Umuoke in Obowo LGA.
The governor was said to have also visited the police station, that was set ablaze by the angry youths.
Ihedioha in his brief remark was quoted to have assured the family that the government of Imo State would stand by them especially at this sorrowful mood.