Over 50 people killed, 170 houses burnt in Oguta, Imo –OYC

Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, the apex, socio-cultural youth organisation of Igbo Youth world wide has received with shock that no fewer than 50 persons have been killed and more than 170 buildings set ablaze by the security operatives in Izombe, Oguta, Imo State in the last two weeks.

OYC in a statement on Saturday by Igboayaka O Igboayaka, National President Ohanaeze Youth Council,  and Ifeanyi Nweke, Secretary General, noted that Izombe and other neighbouring communities such for example like Agwa, Ejemkwuru, Awa, Akabuo, Mgbele and Ogbaku have been recording incessant security challenges due to the nefarious activities of criminal elements with a code name “Umuoma.”

Ohanaeze Youth Council noticed, with utmost dismay, the debilitating inability of Governor Hope Uzodinma’s administration to checkmate the activities of the bandits coupled with military personnel, police and Imo State owned untrained security network called “Ebube-Agu” which has resulted to more casualties and deaths.

“But rather than help to engender peace and tranquility, the security operatives and Ebube-Agu had turned hostile to the residents of the areas particularly, Izombe.

“Unfortunately, the situation has affected socio-economic and other activities as markets, schools and churches have been closed down in Izombe for almost eight months now.

“Investigation shows that an indigene of Amakpurudere Izombe village on June 19, said that over 50 natives of his village have been killed by these security operatives between June 7 and Monday June 19, 2023.

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“Some of the identified people killed at Amakpurudere Village alone included Benjamin Nwadirigbo, Nwabu Onuigbo (aka Danvata), Obieze Ajaere, Izuka Izuaghanwa and Chike Izuaghanwa”

“Witnesses in the community narrated that others were equally killed in other villages of Izombe like Ndiawa, Ndioko, Orsu and Ugbele and Agwa, a neighbouring community to Izombe.

“The combined team of police, untrained and illegal Ebube-Agu and the military had equally destroyed more than 170 buildings in various villages including over 45 houses in Amakpurudere Village alone”.

“To add more Injuries into the agony of Izumbe people, a community source reported that security forces like Ebube-Agu looted people’s property. Lo and behold more than 90 percent of the residents had fled to safety from their the community.

“Since June 7, and June 12, 2023 thousands of people flew from Izombe that the careless security operatives killed Benjamin and four others.”

According to community report to Ohanaeze Youth Council, “The houses burnt down in Amakpurudere Village alone belong to the following: Emmanuel Chukwudoruo, Romanus Obiagwu, Philip Okoronkwo, Ifeanyi Umezuruike, Canice Ogbonna, Herbert Nwoke, late Lucky Nwoke, Lambart Ekejiuba, Simeon Ekejiuba, Sabastine Okereke, Emeka Awaeze and Dominic Iwuanyanwu.

“Others whose houses were affected are: Benjamin Ohanyirim, Jerome Ohanyirim, Late Marcelinus Ogbonna, Lawrence Ogbonna, Calistus Ononiwu, Chief Alex Madubuko, Chief Oliver Ihejirika, Anthony Ihejirika, Alphonsius Ogbonna among others.

“The figure does not include over 150 buildings the military burnt in Umuokwu, Ndioko and Umuorji in October, 2021 when there was clash with the youths as a result of toll collected from crude oil bunkers.

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“Our visit to Izombe shows that Imo State government, led by Hope Uzodinma, really do not think good for Ndi-Imo and Izombe in particular in spite of the viable economic status of the community to Imo State Government.

“Oguta people are suffering and dying. The people are going through excruciating humanitarian crisis and this is very unimaginable to a careless brutal government as led by Hope Uzodinma.

“Many people can no longer feed, many no longer have their houses while hundreds had gone on exile looking for shelters and foods in other communities.

“Imo is truly bleeding to death with the violent and crisis’ data collected by Intersociety group. It recorded that, in the despotic, tyrannical government of Hope Uzodinma, “No fewer than 1,600 unarmed citizens of Imo State have been killed while 300 others have disappeared without trace between January, 2021and May, 2023 (29 months).

“Moreso, relatedly, about 700 persons sustained huge decrees of life-threatening injuries with over 900 others abducted within the same period under review.

“The above ugly situations were contained in a 33-paged special research and investigative report presented to the newsmen by a civil rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Intersociety.

“The Board chairman of the group, Emeka Umeagbalasi, who presented the report, disclosed that the “State and non-State actors were responsible for the said killings.

“According to him, State actors accounted for the deaths of 900 out of the 1,600 unarmed persons killed in the State while the other 700 were killed by armed non-State actors within the period under review.

“The report noted that 600 out of the 900 were secretly killed by State actors while 300 died in open shootings. He further disclosed that 400 out of the 700 killed by armed non-State actors died in captivity while 300 others were killed in open shootings.

“Umeagbalasi added that within the same period 3,500 young people were arrested by the State actors with about 1,400 of them paying through their noses to secure their freedom while over 1,500 of the arrested persons were still being detained in various detention facilities within and outside the State.

“In furtherance, he disclosed that about 1,200 houses were burnt with their 30,000 owners displaced while 500,000 citizens of the State in active age-brackets were forced to flee to escape being shot, killed, abducted or disappeared.”

“We want to remind Ndi-Imo that when President Good luck Jonathan accepted defeat in the 2015 presidential election, he said that his political ambition didn’t worth the blood of innocent Nigerians.

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“We want to remind Uzodinma of All Progressives Congress, APC, that his re-election bid doesn’t worth the blood of Imolites.

“Unfortunately, Uzodinma has raised his re-election bid higher up more important than the lives of Imolites. The collosal failure of Hope Uzodinma to tackle insecurity, if he is a leader with empathy he could have resigned.

“Every sensible person knows that the first priority of a responsible government is basically the protection of lives and properties. The administration of Hope Uzodinma has failed in it’s entirety and indeed depopulated the population of Ndi Imo by incessant killings.

“Within the 41 months of Uzodinma’s reign of terror, Imo State has become the land of Golgotha, the land full of human skulls.

“We, therefore, urged Uzodinma to quit from his political desperation and have a rethink and suspend his re-election bid because his hand & administration are full of blood.

“Governor Uzodinma, we the remaining Igbo youths that are alive in Imo and have not fallen victims of your killers Ebube-Agu and unprofessional security operatives passionately appeal that the blood flowing in our land has soften the face of Mother-earth and it’s in the general interest of Ndi Imo and Ndigbo in general that you suspend your re-election bid and seek the atonement of your numerous sins from God.”

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