Peace returns to Akaeze in Ebonyi after unrest

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Peace has returned to Akaeze community in Ivo local council of Ebonyi state after a heated crisis that distabilised the area.

Sunday, January 24, will remain memorable in the minds of residents after a protest by the youths in the area, which resulted in the destruction of lives and property fostered by alleged torture and death of an indigene of the area, Nnaogo Anyim by men of Ebubeagu Security Network.

Security agents, including police and soldiers, have taken over the community. Following the incident, many, especially those in opposition parties have called for the scrapping of Ebubeagu security outfit, accusing the state government of using it to witch hunt members of the opposition.

Houses, filling stations, vehicles and other valuable properties were burnt in the community when protesters went on a rampage. Those whose properties were burnt include the Chairman of the council, Onyebuchi Ogbadu. Also, court and police post in the community was razed by the angry mob.

It was alleged that about four persons were killed during the violent protest.

The Guardian learnt that the crisis was triggered after a video of the torture on Anyimwent viral in social media with some of the operatives seen hitting him with an axe and other dangerous weapons.

He later died in the hospital. His death sparked a protest by some youths and women of the area who called for the banning of Ebubeagu security network.

The Council chairman, Ogbadu alleged that drug peddlers in the community, who were chased out but later returned to the area by Ebubeagu Security Network caused the chaos.

He said: “In the first place, my house and property were the 5th in the series of what they burnt. They started with the commander of Ebubeagu’s house, went to the Deputy, went to another person. They said they are burning houses because of a person they said died when he was arrested by Ebubeagu people. HHHHe is an armed robber and he died in the hospital.”

“The Commissioner of Police as directed by the Governor of the state is investigating the cause of the crisis and the Command has arrested four Ebubeagu leaders and they are in detention. So, why are they taking laws into their hands and burning people’s houses?”

In a chat with The Guardian, the traditional ruler of Umuihe autonomous community, Ubani Ibo alleged that Anyim was a notorious robber in the community and has been disturbing the peace of the area.

On how the crisis started, the Chairman, Ebonyi South Traditional Rulers Council, Chief Ibo said: “On Tuesday I went for the operation, returned on Wednesday. I heard that somebody used a machete to chase somebody returning from the farm, with a motorcycle, he cut him first in the hand, and the second one on the leg, the boy fell from the motorcycle.

“A passerby going to the farm, who saw the incident, returned and reported to men of Ebubeagu what he saw on his way, Ebubeagu personelswent to the suspect home and reported to his people what happened. I leant that his people were the ones that reported to Ebubeagu that the boy had returned, the boy in question is a bad boy, one, he is a thief, he use to steal people’s things and if he’s stealing your thing and you come, he would chase you, he had used a machete to cut people the previous year.”

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