February 8, 2023.
Anambra hoodlums kill six, kidnapped six others in an ongoing crisis.
No fewer than six persons have lost their lives in the ongoing crisis between Omor and Anaku communities, in the Ayanmelu Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Naija247news gathered that normal activities were going on when hoodlums suspected to be from Anaku community and led by one Maduneke, aka Vulture, stormed Omor community with dangerous weapons including guns, and allegedly shot at villagers.
During the invasion, the hoodlums, who allegedly killed six villagers during the sporadic shootings in the community, took away no fewer than six persons to an unknown destination in Anaku community.
Our correspondent, during a visit to the affected community on Tuesday, observed residents, especially women and children fleeing the community over the fear of further attacks.
Speaking on the incident, a community leader, Peter Emeka, said the invaders, who were led by Maduneke, arrived in several motorcycles, adding that the whereabouts of the abducted victims had been unknown.
He added that the attackers also abducted six other young men and allegedly took them to a notorious shrine in Anaku community and that their whereabouts are still unknown.
He said, “Maduneke has been terrorising communities in Ayamelum, especially Omor community. When he arrived on Monday, February 6, with his gang members, many people in our community identified him because he is notorious for unleashing mayhem on people.
“The names of the victims of the latest attack include, Chibuko Anekwe, Johnson Chigbata, Esther Nwankwo, Iloabuchi Okonkwo, Chinedu Ogwuejiifor, Chibueze Okoye, and others. Their corpses have been deposited in two separate mortuaries.”
Our correspondent gathered that the corpses were deposited in Nigro mortuary, Omor, and at St. Mary’s Hospital mortuary, Ifite-Ogwari.
Contacted, the traditional ruler of Omor community, His Royal Majesty, Oranu Chidume, said the attack came as a surprise to members of the community, explaining that he just had a peace meeting with leaders of Anaku over the lingering dispute.
Chidume said, “I can recall that we have held a couple of peace meetings, and my people are very keen on seeing that peace reigns between us and our neighbours. In the most recent meeting, the leader of Anaku community, Anthony Ifeanya, who is the current Commissioner for Petroleum Resources in Anambra; Chief Livinus Onyenwe, who is the Transition Committee Chairman of Ayamelum; and Uche Okafor, who is the Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, and member representing Ayamelum Constituency, were involved.
“The purpose of the meeting was to ensure that there was a lasting peace between Omor and Anaku. The meeting was fruitful, and we agreed to work together and do all that we can to ensure that there is peace, and that is why the attack on Monday came as a surprise to me.”
Chidume urged the state Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, as well as the state Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng, to act fast and bring the culprits to justice.
Reacting, Ifeanya, who also confirmed the attack, refuted the claim that the perpetrators were from Anaku community.
He explained that Maduneke, who was linked to the attack, was not acting at the instance of the community, adding that a manhunt had been launched to arrest him so he could be handed to the law enforcement agency in the state.
He said, “Our community is also looking for him (Maduneke) everywhere to arrest him. Whenever we get hold of him, we will hand him over to the relevant agencies for necessary action. Our community and the whole of Ayamelum people are already tired of him.”
Also reacting to the development, the Chairman, Transition Committee of Ayamelum LGA, Livinus Onyenwe, while confirming the attack, said the relevant security agencies in the state had been contacted to intervene in the matter.
When Contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said a manhunt had been launched to arrest the fleeing suspects involved in the attack, adding that the invaders allegedly killed six persons in the Omor community.
Ikenga said, “The Anambra State Police Command is on the manhunt for Maduneke and his cohorts, wielding Ak47 rifles in the early hours of Monday, February 6.
“According to information we received, the suspect and his cohorts without any provocation started shooting indiscriminately in Omor community, Anyamelum LGA, and murdered six persons and inflicted serious injuries on two others.
“The joint task force team comprising the police and military was deployed in the area. The presence of these security forces has reinforced the security of life and properties and enhanced the provision of law and order in the area.”
Ikenga said preliminary information revealed that the cause of the incident was a protracted existing communal dispute between Omor and Anaku communities in Anyamelum LGA. (www.naija247news.com).