Eight persons suspected to be hoodlums operating under the name “unknown gunmen” on Thursday night were allegedly gunned down in a gun battle with joint security operatives.
The incident which occurred at about 9:30 pm on Thursday Night at Owerri, we gathered started early hours and ended late with the final battle at Nkwito junction in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State.
we gathered that eight vehicles were said to have been recovered from the said hoodlums, as well as sophisticated ammunitions which they used to challenge the joint security forces. Some of the vehicles included a Land Rover, Toyota Highlander, Siena, white hummer buses, Umuopia-Akokwa vigilante lion squad security vehicle, among others.
The battle between the “unknown gunmen and the joint security forces was said to have started in the commercial town of Orlu, particularly the banana junction. The exchange of bullets threw the town into chaos resulting in roadside traders, shop owners, the banana sellers, commuters as well as motorists were forced to abandon their wares to a safer place.
Narrating the incident to Vanguard how it started, an eyewitness said: “On Thursday around 08: 15 am, we started seeing some strange movements, that was when the soldiers were trying to locate the “unknown gunmen”.
He said Before you know it, from 1 pm, we started hearing shootings and we saw it was between the unknown gunmen and the Soldiers. The firing lasts for more than an hour. “I saw about two of the soldier’s vehicles taken away by the unknown gunmen. If you see these “unknown gunmen” they are powerful, armed to the fullest. They wore black and black and with white material around their neck and covering their backside down to their leg.
“If you see them you will bow. These men are strong and they have weight. They faced the Army and the Army ran away.”
Also, another eyewitness around the Nkwito junction in Orlu, said: “Thursday night the firing was much. All the vehicles of the unknown gunmen were collected from them. What I don’t know is if all the “unknown gunmen” were killed. I am not close to counting all of them. We were able to get at least eight of them. I think also even some of the members of the joint security forces also were injured. Counting from the time the battle started from banana junction to Nkwito junction.”
Meanwhile The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, the umbrella body of all the youth organizations in the South East geopolitical zone is very enraged over the unlawful, barbaric, wicked and extrajudicial killing of a businessman Mr. Noel Chigbu aged 39 years by the military at Amakohia junction, Owerri, Imo state for allegedly ” violating their checkpoint rule” on Friday 30th April, 2021 by 10pm and the unlawful killing of an Imo state first year student by name Divine Nwaneri at a military checkpoint close to Imo state Governor’s office.
A Statement jointly signed by President General Hon. Goodluck Ibem and Comrade Kanice Igwe Secretary General says If our leaders are tired of doing their duties, the should resign and leave office. Political office are meant for those who have the interest of the people at heart. Political office is not meant for stooges or deaf and dumb. We will not tolerate any form of docility on the part of our leaders. They must defend their own against any form of injustice and oppression.
These killings and more that has happened in recent times is a tangible proof that the military are on a secret mission to exterminate Igbo Youth in the South East. The killing of armless agitators and pampering of Boko Haram terrorists is a clear testament that Ndigbo have been marked for extinction by the Nigerian military.
We therefore demand that the military must identify and handover those soldiers involved in the unlawful killings of Mr. Noel Chigbu, Divine Nwaneri and others to the police for immediate prosecution.
Hon. Goodluck Ibem President General
And Comrade Kanice Igwe Secretary General