By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
The Anambra State Police Command has waded into an attack by rival groups in Nkerehi in Orumba South local government area with a view to making peace between the two groups.
Two houses were destroyed and four cars vandalized during the midnight attack.
It was not clear what caused the attack, but an indigene of the community, Hon Marcel Ike told Saturday Vanguard that the victims were taken by surprise, alleging that those who caused the trouble were supporters of a governorship aspirant from the community, whose brother he was also positioning to be the traditional ruler of the town.
According to Ike, the Anambra commissioner of police had been notified of the incident, adding that policemen were already on ground at Nkerehi to restore peace.
Ike said: “Some youths working for a faction in the chieftaincy tussle in the town set two houses ablaze and vandalized four vehicles. We don’t know their motive.
“The attack started at 12am at the home of a man who buried his father the previous day.
“They destroyed two houses and vandalized four cars, while four persons are receiving treatment in the hospital.”
One of the victims, a lawyer, said: “Some of the youths came to my house around 12.00am and I had to jump down from a storey building.
“They beat my wife mercilessly and almost raped her. They vandalized my property and destroyed three cars.
“They also went to the house of a man who buried his father the previous day and looted his property”.
The State Commissioner of Police, Abang, who reacted on the incident recalled that a group opposed to the change of the name of the community from Nkerehi to Umuchukwu had written several petitions to the state police command.
The CP said: “Nkerehi people wrote a petition and accused one of their sons of using soldiers to harass them. I have investigated these petitions and discovered that they were using their community problems against one of their sons who brought development to the community.
“Two nights ago, they had issues in the village and someone called me to say they were being attacked.
“The following morning, I sent mobile policemen and other policemen to Umuchukwu. The people were happy when they saw us.
“I invited both parties to my office on Monday and I told them I cannot solve their problem and that as a fire brigade man, I can only quench fire.
“I told them that the decision to make peace lies with them. They have also gone to Zone 13 police command, but I want to say that the situation was not as bad as they claim and they should not drag the police into their community problem.”
On why there has not been arrests following the attack in the community, the CP argued that arrest does not solve problem.
“I have told them that the solution is in their hands. I can only broker peace, but if those involved refuse to make peace, we cannot force them”, he said.