By Ruth Oginyi
Violence in the early hours of Monday erupted in the Nkaliki area of Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, leaving two persons dead.
The uneasy calm started on Sunday night and lasted till Monday morning among the youths.
Among the deceased include one Pastor, John Onu who was hit by a bullet while praying in his residence at Hatchery, Nkaliki road, Abakaliki the state capital when security agents stormed a hotel in the area.
Youths of Ebyia Unuphu, Abakaliki local government area of the state had gone on a rampage, burning houses in the area after a man in the community was beaten to a pulp and he died in the process.
Our correspondent reports that the youths left the community and moved to Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital on Monday morning where they destroyed the parts of the hotel belonging to one Chukwudi Onyibe, Special Assistant to the Chairman of the local government, Hon. Emmanuel Nwangele on Internally Generated Revenue in the local government.
It took the intervention of Policemen and other security agencies who were alerted, otherwise the hotel would have been razed by the rampaging youths.
The security agents shot sporadically to disperse the irate youths but a stray bullet hit Pastor John Onu of Glorious Gospel Fire Assembly living opposite the hotel who was observing his morning devotion.
The bullet reportedly hit him in the heart and perforated his back.
The rampaging further youths attempted to attack Abakaliki local government headquarters, Nakaliki but were dispersed by the security agents on the ground.
Contacted, the Chairman of the local government, Hon. Emmanuel Nwangele confirmed the incident.
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He said “I was about to go to the village that night to calm the youths but somebody around me that time told me that it was late that time, that it was better in the morning. It was after that that I was informed that somebody died and that they are rampaging to the extent that they came to one Bosco Guest House and they were dispersed by the police. They went back home and set ablaze houses.
“Swift reaction was that I was called that they also moved to my own house and also set it ablaze, destroying so many things. I said why, when I don’t know the genesis of the problem? Late in the night, they also went back to that Bosco’s hotel. According to information, they were even trying to come to Abakaliki local government headquarters but security agencies prevented them. Then this morning, they repeated.
“The Bosco, Chukwudi Onyibe is my SA on IGR. But information reaching me say that they conveyed Ebubeagu people to go and arrest somebody who stole something and on the way to that place, they had cash with somebody who overtook their vehicle and from there, they had some squabble and it was led by one soldier from that our village who was posted outside but was in the village. It was one of the Ebubeagu boys that they said had an encounter with them and Bosco wasn’t even with them that he was on the steering. This was what I was told, I don’t even know anything about it”.
Also contacted the Assistant Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state Police Command, Philip Levi also confirmed the incident but said everything has been brought under control.
It was gathered that some persons have been arrested in connection to the incident.