…Kill two soldiers, civilian at checkpoint in Ebonyi
…Storm Ebonyi community, rob filling station, businesses
…Amawusa blocked after gunmen attack in Imo
…As Imo monarchs vow to lay curses on sponsors
…Anambra imposes curfew on six communities
By Vincent Ujumadu, Peter Okutu & Chinonso Alozie
Palpable fear has once again, gripped indigenes of Ebonyi State following attack by gunmen in various facilities in the state.
In separate operations, the gunmen razed a section of the Federal High Court in Abakaliki in the early hours of yesterday, just as two soldiers and a civilian were shot and killed at a checkpoint in the state.
Another set of gunmen also operated in Onueke Community of Ezza South Local Government area of Ebonyi State, shot sporadically and robbed their victims of their possessions.
This set of gunmen, Vanguard gathered, trailed a customer to a commercial bank where they perpetrated the dastardly act.
These happened as the Douglas road leading to Amawusa in Owerri, Imo State, was yesterday morning blocked by the military men stationed in that area, after an attack by unknown gunmen on Monday night.
In a related development, the Anambra State government has imposed curfew on six communities in Anambra East and Oyi local government areas after gunmen attacks that killed nine people on Monday.
The razing of the Federal High Court in Abakaliki was allegedly, carried out by hoodlums but fire fighters intervened to bring the inferno under control.
The attack at the checkpoint which occurred on Monday night, revealed that the gunmen shot the two soldiers and a civilian at a checkpoint on Timber Junction area, in the Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Those injured as a result of the incident were rushed to an undisclosed hospital for treatment while the deceased were deposited at the morgue.
Vanguard gathered that the victims were attacked at about 8.48pm and their riffles were reportedly carted away. Other soldiers at the checkpoint ran inside the bush for safety.
A community source, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity said the gunmen arrived the checkpoint in a white bus and as the military men stopped them for a search, they opened fire on them.
According to him, the situation threw the two busy towns of Amasiri and Afikpo into panic, as natives especially petty traders hurriedly packed their goods and went home.
“It appeared the military were checking them and all of a sudden, they opened fire on them. Two of the military men, a man and woman, died. Others ran away.”
In a similar vein, the gunmen that operated at Onueke Community of Ezza South Local Government area of Ebonyi State shot sporadically into the air near the bank and made customers and staff to scamper in various directions for safety.
A source, who was at the bank, said the gunmen shot the man they trailed to the bank.
The source noted that they did not enter the bank as their interest seemed to be on the man.
However, the gunmen were said to have moved from the bank to some outfits in the area which they robbed without any obstruction.
They were said to have entered a provision store and carted away some cartons of drinks. From there, they moved to a nearby drinks shop and robbed the owners of their money.
Not satisfied, they moved into a nearby filling station and also carted away all the monies made from the day’s sales.
Vanguard also gathered that one Mrs Ngbeke Oti, an eight months old pregnant Internally Displaced Person, IDP, in Effium community, Ohaukwu local government area has been abducted by unknown persons in the community.
The mother of four was allegedly seized by suspected warlords when she accompanied her friends from an IDP camp to harvest cassava in Ebeta village.
The woman who hails from Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State, was living in Effium with her family before they were displaced by the crisis that erupted in the area in January, 2021.
Amawusa blocked after gunmen attack in Imo
In Imo, a visit to Amawusa by Vanguard confirmed that motorists were not allowed to ply the ever busy Douglas road but commuters were seen trekking long distances to their destinations.
It was gathered that shops especially within the Amawusa area were all closed at about 09:59 am.
Military men were also seen positioned strategically in and out of the Amawusa axis, observing the movements of persons within the affected area.
Hausas were seen standing along the road sides, some sitting in front of their shops and others were standing in groups discussing the night attacks.
Some of them who managed to narrate their experiences, described it as ugly and a situation they have not seen before since living in Owerri.
One of them who introduced himself as Sadiq said: “This kind of thing has never happened to us before. We were running to hide from the bandits. They were shooting in the air. Some of us who were running also injured ourselves. My brothers and I did not sleep in Amawusa, we were afraid that they may come back again.”
Imo attacks, monarchs vow to lay curses on sponsors
Meantime, hundreds of Imo State traditional rulers yesterday concluded that they would invoke their ancestors to lay curses on the sponsors of the attacks in Imo State.
The monarchs spoke to newsmen through the Head of Imo State Traditional Rulers Council/Chairman of Community Policing, Eze Emmanuel Okeke, after their closed door meeting at Eze Imo palace at Mbari Street in Owerri, Imo State.
According to them, the attacks are politically sponsored and any attack on the governor, Hope Uzodimma and Imo people is an attack on the traditional rulers in the state.
“We are of the opinion that every attack in Imo State are politically motivated. Therefore, we call on all the aggrieved politicians in Imo to sheath their swords. We voted them into power to work for us and not for fighting each other.
“We are calling on those involved to desist from it henceforth. Otherswise, we shall consult the gods of our land to lay curses on them no matter whoever is involve.We call on all the stakeholders in the state to come together to end this insecurity in the state.”
Anambra imposes curfew on six communities
Following gunmen attack which left nine people dead on Monday, the Anambra State government has imposed curfew on six communities in Anambra East and Oyi Local Government Areas.
The affected communities are Igbariam, Aguleri and Umueri in Anambra East, as well as Nteje, Awkuzu and Umunya in Oyi Local Government Area.
A statement by the Secretary to the State government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu said the curfew, which took immediate effect, is between 7pm and 6am daily.
The statement advised the people and residents of the state living in the affected communities to obey the curfew order, as security personnel were on strict orders to enforce it.