Chairman of Ivo local government area in Ebonyi State Onyebuchi Ogbadu has lamented the destruction of his properties and others in Akaeze community on Sunday by irate youths.
He lamented all his properties were bunt down by the rampaging youths who were protesting the alleged torture of an alleged criminal suspect, Nnaogo Akpoke Anyim in the community by Ebubeagu security outfit that led to his death.
Ogbadu, who spoke to journalists in Abakaliki, denied shooting anybody or having a had in the death of any of the protesting youths as was being alleged in the social media reports.
Reports on social media had claimed the Council Chairman and his supporters had attacked the protesting youth which led to the death of one of them, a situation that enraged the youths and led to the protest turning violent.
But Ogbadu said the reports were lies as he was not at home when the youths invaded his house burning everything on sight.
The council boss noted that the protesters were sponsored to carry out the carnage in the community by opposition politicians and some criminal elements who had earlier been sacked from the community.
He noted that the protesters had already set houses of some Ebubeagu operatives in the community ablaze and also his filling station on the road before coming to burn his house.
He said he was at the House of the Traditional Ruler of the area when he heard that the youths were already destroying his house.
He said when he rushed to house the youths on sighting him on the road leading to his house, attacked him in his car and damaged parts of the Sienna car he was driving in.
The Chairman said his driver had to hastily reverse and drive him out of the area.
According to him, the youth proceeded to burn down his house and other houses in his compound and all the properties therein including about 4 cars.
Among the cars allegedly burnt are the Chairman’s official Toyota Jeep. A bus belonging to the local government was not burnt but was vandalized.
The protesters also burnt include a commercial bus close parked close to the filling station.
He wondered why the protesters would take the laws into their hands when the Ebubeagu operatives who were accused of carrying out the torture of the late Anyim were immediately arrested and handed over to the Police and are still in custody.
Ogbadu who described the activities of the rampaging youths as criminal and sacrilegious alleged that they were being sponsored by some Peoples Democratic Party, PDP elements and Anti-Umahi personalities in and outside of the country.
The Council boss revealed that about seven houses including his own were destroyed by the Youths.
He alleged that the youths were composed of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB members who were from their neighbouring Community and criminals terrorising the affected Community and the Police.
According to him, what happened yesterday was a sacrilege as no youth from Akaeze, following our agelong tradition can engage in spilling of blood and destruction of properties.
Ogbadu, said that the protest was orchestrated by criminal elements that have not been happy with the successes recorded by Ebubeagu Security operatives in Akaeze Community.
According to him, the Ebubeagu operations in the area had led to the closure of criminal hideouts/ shanties, nabbing of local thieves and clamping down on the sellers and distributors of a drug known as “Mkpurumiri” in the area.
“The criminals are being sponsored by PDP politicians and anti-Umahi personalities based overseas. They were the once that caused the fracases that took place on Sunday.
“When I was called I rushed to the palace of HRH Eze Omazi Ibo of Umuihie Autonomous Community. On getting there, I was told that the youths were moving to my residence. I rushed out and on getting close to the road leading to my residence, I discovered that the rampaging youths were already destroying my house.
“I had to reverse and as I was doing that, they smashed my windscreen, side glasses and other parts of the Sienna bus I was driving. As it stands now, I don’t have anything on me, apart from these clothes I am putting on. Everything has been destroyed. All the cars in my compound including my official car were burnt by the youths.
“The Ebubeagu Security operatives who were involved in the alleged
murder case involving the death of one Nnaogo Akpoke Anyim on 18th January, 2022, are still in detention.
“And so, this has shown that the masterminds of the atrocities that happened carried out their actions based on an already orchestrated arrangements. The Police is already investigating the matter and some suspects have been arrested. What then?”.
The Chairman further explained that peace has been restored in the affected Community, following the deployment of security forces to the area,
The Chief Security Officer of Ivo LGA added that 11 suspects have so far been arrested in connection with the incident.
“The young man who incidentally lost his life after he was arrested by the community and handed over to Ebubeagu Security operatives is a notorious and serial criminal in Akaeze Community.
‘He has been terrorizing the community through his nefarious activities both in the day and at night. Ebubeagu has stemed the tide of criminality in Ivo and the protest is just a way of undermining the good works of our Governor and his administration.”, he said.
But Ebonyi Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Tochukwu Okorie exonerated the party from such unlawful conduct.
He stressed that what happened last weekend was a product of a spontaneous reaction.
Police spokesperson, Loveth Odah confirmed the incident.
He said the youth were chanting and singing when a gunshot was released killing one of them and injuring about two others.
She said the protest turned violent at that point with the youths burning down the Police station, a magistrate court and many other buildings including that of the Chairman.
The spokesperson also confirmed that some arrests have been made over the violence.
She also confirmed the arrests of some of the Ebubeagu members who were involved on the torture of Mr Anyim which led to his death in a hospital.