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There is palpable tension in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State following the alleged killing of seven youths by gunmen suspected to be Ebubeagu security operatives.
According to credible reports, they were reportedly killed while returning from traditional wedding in Awomama, Oru East L.G.A., with five no fewer than five others are yet to be accounted for.
The President General of Otulu Community, in the area, Nnamdi Agbor, who opened up while speaking to reporters on Monday revealed that about seven young men were shot and killed Sunday night by the Ebubeagu operatives.
His words: ‘Youths from our community in Otulu had Sunday accompanied one of our brothers to Awomamma for his traditional wedding rites, at the end of the event, many of the youths who came on motorcycles offered to carry their brothers and they all rode back in a convoy of motorcycles.
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‘On their way home, around the Ishieke area of Awomamma, without any conversation or confrontation, the Ebubeagu operatives opened fire on the convoy of motorcycles killing seven persons on the spot. While they abducted some of the wedding guests some others escaped into the bush in a desperate flight for safety.’
‘The Ebubeagu operatives took deliberate steps to make certain that the young men were dead. Those who still moved where finished off with a volley of bullets. Miraculously, one of our sons was mistaken for dead, after the operatives moved to their vehicle, he fled into the nearby bush and disappeared into the night. At about 1am, some of them that fled into the Bush called me and I called some of our brave youths to go and rescue them from the forest that same night.
“By Monday morning, we mobilize a search party, accompanied by an Army patrol team and we returned to the scene of attack and received seven dead bodies of our sons with five others still missing with several others nursing bullet wounds. As I speak to you, we are yet to be told the crime committed by our sons for which they were slaughtered like animals”
Those killed whose bodies were recovered include Chigozie Obinwa, Chikere Anyadioha, Ifechi Ekesinachi, Emeka Ekesinachi, Aboy Ihegboro, and two others simply identified as Chijindu and Ozioma.
The President-General stressed that tension in the Otulu community has reached feverish pitch and they are battling to contain agitations of angry youths.
‘Tempers are flying in our community and our people are angry. There is no justification whatsoever for these killings except for impunity and reckless use of firearms.
‘Consequently, we have reported the incident to the security agencies. The Commissioner of Police and the Commander of the 34 Brigade Command Obinze have visited. The DPO is also assisting.
‘The wedding celebrant is Chijioke Nnanna. The Ebubeagu operative also abducted his brother that same evening and one of the young men sent from our community to verify the shooting saw when they were bundling him away and made to explain to them that this was the brother of the celebrant, he was also bundled into their truck and whisked away to Oru East were they were held and only freed this afternoon.’
According to the President-General, those still in the hospital are Oluebube Agbor and ThankGod Iheukwumere.