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People who are resident in Umualumaku community in Ehime Mbano Local Council of Imo State, have begun counting their losses following reprisal attacks from yet -to-be identified suspected military men last Wednesday.
The community was recently invaded by unknown assailants, who killed personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigerian Police and Army, while on official duty in the area.
About five officers on joint patrol duties were reportedly ambushed and set ablaze, with two of their Hilux vehicles.
Consequently, members of the community, for fear of reprisal attacks from security operatives, fled the area.
In protest against the onslaught on their men, security agents descended on the community, setting ablaze vehicles, houses, shops, hotels and eateries.
In his reaction, Imo State Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate, in the forthcoming November polls, Athan Achonu, urged President Bola Tinubu to intervene and save the people from being killed.
He also urged Governor Hope Uzodimma to come to the people’s aid by rebuilding their homes, stores and wares torched by the military officers during the attack.
Achonu also urged the General Officer Commanding, 82 Division, Enugu, Brigade Commander of 34 Field Artillery, Obinze, and the Commissioner of Police in the state, to call their men to order and stop reprisal attacks on villagers.
He expressed regrets that two of the deceased security officers were with him during his recent political campaigns in Aboh Mbaise, Ezinihitte Mbaise and environs.
He said: ‘The attack that happened is pure lawlessness, it shows there is no rule of law in this country. I have been supporting the police, the Directorate of State Service (DSS) and military over the years, it is unfortunate that this happened.’
On the reprisal attacks, he said: ‘The GOC should call his boys to order. The essence of governance is to protect the people. Government should lead by example. I am calling on Governor Hope Uzodimma to rebuild the places destroyed. They are not the ones who killed the security personnel,’ Achonu added.
Similarly, the governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state’s forthcoming election, Tony Ejiogu, has condemned the killing of the security personnel and reprisal attacks on the community, calling for the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators to serve as deterrent to others.