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Regional News of Saturday, 3 September 2022

Source: www.premiumtimesng.com

Suspected Ebubeagu operatives invade Anambra community, shoot youth leaders

Photo used to illustrate the story Photo used to illustrate the story

Suspected members of Ebubeagu Security Network have allegedly attacked youth leaders in Oba Community, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The security reportedly opened fire on the youth and attempted to abduct its chairman whom they labelled a criminal, but were resisted by some residents.

The incident happened on Tuesday.

The residents, mainly youth, were said to have beaten up the operatives and destroyed windshields of their vehicles before forcing them to the palace of the traditional ruler of the community, where they were interrogated by the monarch.

A video clip of the incident has been circulating on various WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms.

In the clip, seen by PREMIUM TIMES, one of the youth leaders, Maxwell Obadike, said they were patrolling the community when they saw the Ebubeagu operatives and parked their vehicle by a roadside to allow them pass.

“These people got down, without any provocation, suddenly opened fire on us. But because we didn’t know their intention, we drove off,” he said.

Mr Obadike, also a member of a local vigilante group in the community, said the operatives still trailed them to his house and attacked them again.

“When we got to my house, we parked our vehicle, and immediately they opened fire on us again. They destroyed my door. I jumped the fence and they captured the Oba youth commander and accused him of kidnapping and stealing,” Mr Obadike said.

He claimed the security outfit beat up and shot the youth leader several times, before they dragged him to the palace of the monarch.

“We don’t want Ebubeagu again, my people, please. I have said it several times,” he stated.

“They kill anyhow without asking questions. I am a security man. We are not kidnappers,” Mr Obadike added, while displaying his security identity card.

The back windshield of a Lexus SUV, belonging to the youth chairman, was destroyed.

The vehicle was also riddled with bullet holes, said to have been shot by the Ebubeagu operatives.

Ogoegbulam Igwilo, a former youth chairman in the community, who witnessed the attack, narrated how the incident happened.

“I was in front of my house, when the Ebubeagu people pursued the youth into their house. They started shooting indiscriminately,” he said.

“Shortly, they dragged the chairman out, beating him and forcing him to confess that he was a criminal or they would deal with him,” Mr Igwilo said.

In the palace premises, the angry youth appeared to have an altercation with one of the Ebueagu operatives, who stepped out of their vehicle with a rifle.

“Where are you going? Drop the gun on the ground immediately. Are you mad? You Ebubeagu people came to kill our youth commander,” the angry youth yelled at the operative, who hurried into their vehicle.

When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident, but said they were not Ebubeagu operatives.

“It was a misunderstanding between vigilante operatives and Oba youth, who felt that the vigilante men attacked their chairman,” he said.

Mr Ikenga said the divisional police officer in charge of the community has drafted police operatives in the area.

“We have been able to calm the situation,” the police spokesperson said.

Ebubeagu was set up in 2021 by governors of the five states in the South-east to help in the fight against insecurity in the region which has witnessed deadly attacks linked to the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra.

But the security outfit has been accused of extrajudicial killings like in the tragic incident in July where some Imo youth returning from a wedding ceremony were shot dead at a close range.

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