Traditional stool tussle: Abia community urges police to restore peace Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia


Indigens of Ndi Ofali Agwu Compound in Amaekpu-Ohafia in Ohafia Local Goverment of Abia state are calling on the Abia state Police command to step in and restore peace in the compound again.

This call is sequel to an attack on the locals in the area on the night hours of July 27, 2020 by a group of youths from another compound in the community.

Some indigenes of the area who are mostly house wives told our correspondent that their husbands had been on the run for over two weeks as a result of threat to their lives by warring parties who claimed that they had banished them from the community.

One of the women who do not want to be named said trouble started when another compound in the community said it was their turn to produce a traditional ruler in the community.

She said even though the case has gone to Court and the title grabber loss, they still went ahead to
seize the traditional symbol of authority to enable them to be in charge.

She said, "I was told that it's our compound that has the right to produce the traditional ruler because their forefathers were the first people to arrive here, but some set of people are saying they want to rule too, that is what caused the controversy.

"The boys from the side of community came to our compound with guns and other dangerous weapons and started shooting anyhow. I didn't know where to run to because they were telling my husband to bring out the offo (symbol of authority) which was not in our house. The also destroyed our properties.

"My husband had escaped living me with my five children. Our attackers also made away with our plasma television, and some food stuffs from our house. Since then I and my children have been suffering without help.

Also a legal practioner Mr Ukpai Ukairo, in a petition addressed to Abia state commissioner of Police Mrs Janet Agbede, urged her to charge one Awa Eke Lekwa (leader, block dealer) and Eke Anaga Ibe ( to Court.

The petition was written for his clients Chief Kalu Mba-Kalu, Chief Nmaja Aki, Chief Uma Okwara, Chief Echeme Uzo and sir Boniface A. Kalu representing members of Ndi Ofali Agwu compund Amaekpu-Ohafia.

He also listed chukwuma Eke Chima (A Local vigilante leader) George Oguelu Udonsi, Mba Kalu Eke, Arua Eke Agwu, Sam Uche Udo, Uduma Nnoke Canada, Igu Uka Igu, Uduma Okorie, Ibisi and Emetu Ulu as one of those involved in the July 27, attack to be brought to book.

He stated that the suspects named in the petition had also logged a complaint against his clients.

The petition partly read, "In the face of complaints and counter complaints our clients made statement as complainers and in the same way as the suspects on the other side .

"After recording the statement of both sides the Police also directed both parties to return on the 28th of July 2020 for further interrogation.

"However our instructions is that on the same date of July 27, 2020 the suspects struck with maximum violence and destroyed and stole some properties of our clients and manhandled several of our clients .

"The instruction of our clients is that the Divisional Police Officer, Ohafia witnessed the destruction as it unfolded but took no action to stop same or arrest the attackers. Our clients have real time video records of the properties destroyed and the agent of destruction in action.

"In the circumstances of the foregoing we have the instructions of our clients to urge you to use your good offices to ensure that the above named persons and their sponsors are charged to Court.

"To this end it will also be in keeping with international best practices to punish the suspects for showing total disrespect to the police".

A senior Police officer at the Abia state Police headquarters in Umuahia who do not want be named told our correspondent that the Police was investigating the case with a view to bringing a lasting solution to the conflict in the community.

He said," We have received the petition on the incident and we are investigating the matter to restore peace in the community".

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