Protest has erupted in Okposi community of Ohaozara local government area of Ebonyi State following the brutal and gruesome murder of a 45-year-old Councilor representing Echara Ward 2 Okposi, Mr. Ogbonnaya Ugwu, by yet-to-be identified gunmen.
Angered by the killing of the father of three, youths and women of the area took to the streets to protest what they described as the rising insecurity, political killings and unabated murder of innocent people in the State in the last six months.
The protesters, who carried palm fronds and chatting mourning songs, described the murder of the Councilor as one death too many and called on the State Government and the security agencies in the State to live up to its responsibility, adding that hoodlums were gradually overrunning the State.
One of the protesters and a community leader, Mr. Christopher Ajah, expressed the regret that despite the heavy presence of security personnel in the State, hoodlums still strike unchallenged.
Similarly, the Ebonyi State chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Campaign Council has also expressed sadness over the murder of Mr. Ugwu, popularly known as Spaco.
In a statement signed by the Director, Media and Publicity, APGA Campaign Council, Mr. Charles Otuh, said Mr. Ugwu was killed around 10pm Saturday night as he was returning from his shop, a drinking joint known in Okposi as Angle 90.
“The deceased, Ugwu was a development-oriented and liberal minded community leader who was well respected across Okposi and beyond. Sources in Okposi who had earlier confirmed the incident to newsmen in Abakaliki Sunday morning, said Ugwu was accosted by the Gunmen around Okposi Court Area junction.
“Media reports have also disclosed that the killing, which is the second in the same area in less than One month sparked protests within the community.
“We at Odohzia Ebonyi Campaign Council strongly condemn this, yet another senseless killing of a vibrant Ebonyi youth. It is very sad that just few weeks to the last election, a vibrant youth, Mr. Ogbonnaya Agwu was also gunned down by yet to be identified gunmen in the same Court Area, Okposi Okwu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the State,” he stated.
APGA Campaign Council, therefore, sympathised with the deceased family and charge the government and security agencies to ensure the apprehension of the killers of Mr. Ugwu.
“APGA charges the State Government whose primary responsibility remains the protection of lives and property in partnership with security agencies to unravel the killers of these citizens.
“We are aware that there have been several reports that the many untrained personnels who operated as members of the disbanded Ebubeagu militia have been responsible for several shootings especially at night in Okposi and many other communities in Ebonyi where they shoot to show force, threaten or harass innocent citizens and road users.
“No stone should be left unturned to apprehend and bring to book, this murderous gang that has been terrorizing Okposi, Ohaozara and the entire State. We have also consistently raised the alarm over the influx of ‘fake’ military and Police officers into the State which has heightened tension and anxiety among Ebonyians.
“We also urge security agencies to live up to its bidding and ransack the old Government House, Abakaliki where we learnt they have been stockpile of arms and ammunitions including alleged quartering of the said ‘fake officers’ and dislodge them before they plunge Ebonyi into unmanageable terrorism,” Otuh added.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, proved abortive as at the time of this report.