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Akabo residents flee over burning of houses by troops

One of the houses burnt down by troops at Umuori Amii Akabo last Sunday and the suspect who led security operatives.

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Say, we’re not aware of ESN camp in our community

Sunday June 6 was indeed a dark day for the people of Umuori Amii Akabo in Ikeduru LGA of Imo State as more than 10 houses were set ablaze by the security operatives. This was revealed to our reporter Stan Amadi who visited the community to investigate what led to the burning of the houses.

On getting to Amii Akabo, the whole community was deserted as everyone had out of apprehension, fled from their homes to the nearby communities for safety.

A carpenter, Mr. James Onuekwusi, aged 80, whose house was among those burnt down, told The Leader that they were in church that fateful Sunday when they got the news that houses in the community were being set on fire by security operatives. According to Mr. Onuekwusi, security operatives came to Amii Akabo alongside a young man who was alleged to be one of the unknown gunmen attacking police stations. The young man was said to have told the Police that their camp is at Akabo.

Answering questions as to whether anyone from the community identified the said young man, Mr. Onuekwusi said no one could identify him as he is not from Umuori Amii Akabo. On the whereabouts of his family, Mr. Onuekwusi said he has no child, adding that he only lives with his wife. He also took our reporter round the vicinity to show him some other houses that were burnt down.

Also speaking to The Leader, Mr. Lumumba Chituru Uzomba, who is also in his late 80s, whose house was similarly burnt down also confirmed the incident. Asked if he had knowledge of what led to the invasion of the community and the consequent burning of the houses, Mr. Uzomba said he had no idea.

According to Mr. Uzomba, when the news broke in the church that houses were being set ablaze, everyone ran away. He however told our reporter that no life was lost in the course of burning the houses. He further told our reporter that he did not see the young man who was brought to the area let alone identifying him as coming from the community.

Since last Sunday the mayhem took place, the people of Umuori Amii Akabo have been living in constant fear.

Some youths who spoke on  condition of anonymity, however appealed to the State Government, and the Federal and State House members,  Hon. Henry Nwawuba and Hon. Uche Ogbuagu (who hails from Amii Akabo) to do everything possible to ensure that peace and normalcy returned to the community, to enable them live their lives without any form of apprehension.

Reacting to the story, the Police Public Relations Officer  (PPRO) in the State SP. Bala Elkana told our reporter, Stan Amadi; that the community and those who spoke to him while on investigation were being economical with the truth. SP. Bala wondered why the people did not tell him (our reporter) that a policewoman held hostage for weeks in the camp was rescued during the operation

According SP. Elkana, the Policewoman was used as a pointer, adding that it was through the young man arrested earlier that led the troop to go there and rescue the policewoman from there camp. “By their being economical with the truth and not telling you that a woman police was rescued there, means they are encouraging what is going on in their community.” They should tell you the truth, why are they being one sided?” SP Bala  asked.

He added that the details of the troop’s operation in the community and their rescue mission could be obtained from the Command’s Facebook  page.

LEAD STORY JULY 25

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