By Chidi Nkwopara & Chinonso Alozie
OWERRI—Imo State Police Command has given an insight into the reported death of six persons at the weekend, in Akokwa, Ideato North local government area of the state.
Confirming the incident in a press statement, which he posted on his facebook wall, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, explained that the loss of lives was occasioned by a clash between the natives and some Hausa settlers.
It was gathered that an Hausa man identified simply as Kenneth, reportedly ran amok and murdered a young lady, as well as an elderly woman before killing himself.
Part of the story that made the rounds had it that the young lady ran to the elderly woman for protection, when Kenneth was pursuing her.
Although it was not clear at press time, what led to the hot pursuit, it was, however, gathered that Kenneth fatally injured the two women with a shovel he found at the scene, before taking his own life.
Apparently irked by the development, the aggrieved natives quickly mobilized and launched a reprisal attack, killing three others from the Northern stock and injuring one.
The PPRO then disclosed that security personnel swiftly intervened and restored normalcy in the area.
Mr. Enwerem further confirmed that the incident was not a case of invasion by Fulani herdsmen and should not be branded as such.
Indigenes and residents of Akokwa community in Ideato North local council area of Imo State, are now living in palpable fear of possible reprisal attack by friends and relations of the victims of last weekend’s clash with the Hausa.
Vanguard gathered that no fewer than six persons died, including two female natives, in the orgy of violence that overwhelmed the community last weekend..
The rumour making the rounds in the community, as at the last check before press time, was that “a reprisal attack was imminent, even in the larger Ideato, if immediate and adequate security measures were not taken to forestall the plan.”
Meanwhile, Imo State Government has called on the people to be vigilant and report suspicious movements to the nearest security agency, even as it condemned the violence.
The Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, made government’s position known when he paid a condolence visit to the bereaved families.
Madumere appealed to the citizenry to remain calm, as government had already taken steps to bring the situation under control.
“Violence is barbaric and an unacceptable means of settling disputes. It is condemned by the civilized world. Every Nigerian, irrespective of his place of origin or how he worships, should be safe and at home in other parts of the country”, Madumere appealed.
While commending the security agencies for their quick intervention, the Deputy Governor also assured that “the government, in collaboration with the security agencies, would get to the root of the strange and frightening situation”, so as to avoid a repeat performance.
He warned that government would not tolerate any act of violence in the state and under any guise, stressing that anybody or group found to be fomenting trouble would be decisively dealt with.