One killed, another injured as Enugu Community boils in fresh crisis

By Damian Duruiheoma, Enugu

Oruku Community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State was on Saturday morning thrown into another mourning as hoodlums terrorising the community reportedly killed a neighbourhood watch personnel and injured another.

The victim, Okey Ogbodo was said to have been shot and killed the early morning of Saturday, while he was patrolling the troubled community with other members of the vigilante group.

It was learnt that Ogbodo’s killing has brought to third, high profile killings since December 26, 2020, when the Inspector General of Police Tactical Squad from Force Headquarters visited the community.

Two months later, deputy Caretaker Committee Chairman of the community, Chief Samuel Ani was shot and killed by gunmen said to have been behind the killing of the traditional ruler on February 24, 2021.

The murder of the community leaders of which some members of the community were fingered, sparked a chain of crisis leading to the burning of over 77 houses and the only market in the community.

It was gathered that since soldiers were stationed in some strategic locations in the community, peace was gradually returning until on Friday evening when soldiers and policemen left their posts and the hoodlums took over.

The hoodlums according to sources, were said to have seized the absence of the law enforcement agents, ransacked the community, robbed households with heavy shootings throughout the night.

A community leader, Mr. Agozie Anih who spoke to journalists on the development, said that Mr. Ogbodo was shot and killed on early Saturday morning while on patrol with other neighbourhood watch members.

He said, “There is heavy fighting in Oruku now. This is mostly because the state government has not deemed it necessary to implement the report of panel it set up to unravel those behind the murder of Oruku traditional ruler, Igwe Chidiebere Mbah.

“One Okey Ogbodo, a member of the Neighbourhood Watch group in the community was killed this morning. Another one with a gunshot wound has been moved to a hospital in the state capital.”

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On why the constant crisis in the community, he said “the military stationed in the community left two days ago. So the bandits took over the military camp immediately they left and started terrorising the residents, robbing them”.

Anih called on Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to wake up to his responsibility by wading into the crisis that had claimed high profile lives in the area.

The chairman Neighbourhood Watch Group, Mr Ndubuisi Ani confirmed the killing of Mr Ogbodo, describing it as unfortunate.

He said, “the same people who conspired with policemen from Abuja and killed our monarch, our deputy caretaker chairman, burnt our houses have also killed the neighborhood watch personnel.

“As I am speaking with you, we are taking his body to the mortuary in Enugu State capital.”

The spokesman of the state police command, Daniel Ndukwe, could not be reached as of the time of filing this report but a senior police officer, who pleaded anonymity, said, “We have that information. But you know this period we police don’t have time for this nonsense again. We are trying to protect ourselves now.”

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