By Agbo Sunday, Abakaliki
Tragedy struck the people of Owutu Edda autonomous community in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State after a clash between the youths and police led to the shooting of a military man and the destruction of property worth millions of naira belonging to residents of the area.
The clash between the duos resulted in the blocking of major roads leading to the community to avert reprisal attack from the police.
There was also burning of tires, shutting down of markets and schools which paralyse both market and social activities in the area.
According to eyewitness account, the trouble started at the weakend when officers of the Safer Highway on duty at a Police checkpoint along Nguzu Edda Road, intercepted a woman wearing military cap on a motorbike.
The woman on interrogation by the police officers quickly said that the cap belongs to her husband who is a soldier. The explanation by the woman was said to have infuriated the police officers, who ordered her to call her husband for clarity.
When the military man who is an indigene of the area arrived at the checkpoint, he was assaulted by the policemen and later resulted in fighting.
The crisis escalated the following day when the police team again tried to arrest the soldier, Mr. Ikechukwu Nnachi which he vehemently resisted and which led to his shooting on the leg by the policemen.
The youths on hearing what happened to their soldier-brother, mobilized into rioting and entered the houses of all the policemen in the community and burnt all their household properties including motorcycles and documents.
Nnachi is currently receiving treatment at Ohafia Military hospital, Abia State.
Addressing the angry youths, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor David Umahi on Internal Security, Dr. Kenneth Ugballa appealed to them to be calm as government would look into the matter.
He condemned the shooting by the policemen and assured that the police authority will investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to book.