Gunmen kill six, injure others in Ebonyi
Forum attributes rising insecurity to unemployment
Gunmen, yesterday, attacked Otuebu and Obodo Ocha villages in Ohaukwu Local Council of Ebonyi State, killing six persons and leaving many with injuries.
The attackers also razed many houses, yam barns, vehicles, farm products, among others, when it reportedly stormed the villages about 4 a.m.
The Guardian gathered that the attack caused panic in the area, as natives deserted the area for neighbouring communities, for the safety of their lives.
“They have hit our community again. This morning, they burnt down many houses. As soon as they started, I had to move my parents to Okwor area for safety. In fact, my father just informed me now that a vehicle from the area carrying a dead body just passed. One person was killed in the incident.
“They came into the community and started shooting sporadically and burning down houses. We are suspecting Fulani herdsmen. Recently, because of the way they were dealing with farmers in the community, we are no longer comfortable with them and we asked them to leave. Two weeks ago, they were sighted around the community. So, they could be responsible for the attack,” the source said.
Confirming the attack, the Commissioner for Border Peace and Internal Security, Stanley Emegha, said: “We are having conflicting reports on the casualties; some said three persons were killed, another said one.”
He noted that his office was yet to receive details of what happened.
The Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba, said his men had been mobilised to the area.
MEANWHILE, Umu-Igbo Unity Forum has said that rising insecurity in the country is caused by unemployment and joblessness among youths, especially at the grassroots.
The socio-political group of the Igbo called for the revival of the local council system to create jobs for youths at the grassroots and keep them away from criminal activities.
In a statement signed by its Secretary, Buchi Ogbonna, after its meeting in Enugu State, yesterday, the forum called on the Federal Government to rejig the country’s security apparatus to make it more effective in crime prevention as well as protection of life and property.
It also suggested the decentralisation of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) by creating state police under the command of state governors, to give them commanding powers as the chief security officers of their states.
Rising from the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Enugu, the forum lamented the worsening security situation in the South East, urging governments to nip the ugly trend in the bud.
At the meeting, which drew a delegation of Igbo people from different parts of the country, the forum condemned the recent killings and destruction of property in Enugu and Ebonyi states as well as the jailbreak and burning of the Police Headquarters in Owerri, Imo State.
It also condemned the frequent killing of police officers on duty and attacks on their stations, saying the trend was seriously affecting the economy of the South East zone.
Calling on South East governors to work with security agencies to stem the tide and stop further loss of life and property, the group frowned on the deplorable condition of most federal roads in the zone and the infrastructural deficit in the region.
It stated that repairing the roads would fast-track the movement of goods and people into the region, improve other infrastructure, make life more meaningful and enhance the economic activities of the people.
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