Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State was on Thursday, thrown in a pandemonium, as gunmen reportedly dislodged the residents of Ishiagu Akpawfu and Ajame Ameze autonomous communities after killing the Palace Secretary of Ajame.
It was gathered that the gunmen killed the palace Secretary, Chukwuma Nnamuoke, on Sunday night before they went wild on Monday, destroying the properties of those they described as saboteurs.
The PUNCH reports that the gunmen were suspected members of the Eastern Security Network from the community whose security agencies identified and destroyed their houses and properties.
“So those they unleashed attacks on are residents they suspected to have assisted and provided security agencies information about them.
“They have killed four people so far and injured several others that are currently in the hospital bed,” the source said.
When contacted on the telephone, the Traditional ruler of Ajame Ameze, Akpawfu Autonomous Community, Igwe Christopher Nnamani confirmed the unfortunate incident, pleading with the State Government and security agencies to come to the aid of the community.
Although some members of the communities have accused the monarch of being responsible for the tragic incidents.
Briefing journalists on Thursday, the fleeing residents denied that the people killed by soldiers and policemen in the community were either ESN members or criminals.
They alleged that the Monarch is using his private armed men to terrorize autonomous communities in the name of fighting unknown gunmen.
Mr Felix Ani a.nd Ikechukwu Udeh, in a joint address, said, “It is in the public domain that the Igwe had given those he alleged to be Outcast up to December 2022 to vacate his community or face his hammer.
“Presently, it is on record that he is now burning the houses of those he labeled And we are calling on the Government of Enugu State, and the state Commissioner of Police, to as a matter urgently comes to our rescue by calling Igwe Christopher Nnamani to order and also make sure that he is brought to book for all these atrocious crimes he has committed against innocent people of his community.”
They alleged that Igwe Nnamani and cabinet members had gone into a deal of policing the localities with the militia wing of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, the Eastern Security Network, a deal he couldn’t manage well which later brought serious trouble between him, his close confidant in the community and the ESN.
“Instead of facing the matter they have with ESN and finding a way of sorting it out, Igwe Nnamani declared war on the family of Akpawfu (Umuanigbiyovo Oyiwode Or Umuodenigbo).”
Speaking to the PUNCH on Thursday, Igwe Nnamani, dismissed the allegations, describing it as a case of “Kettle calling pot black”.
The Monarch said that he knew nothing about their deaths, or the burning of houses because they were killed by Soldiers whose investigation revealed that they were deadly kidnappers and armed robbers engaging in all manner of crimes and criminalities in the communities.
He said, “What they told you is the opposite of what is going on in our communities. They are the ones killing people, kidnapping innocent natives, and making life unbearable for our people.
“If you are doubting what am telling you, just go to the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu and state police Command to ask them about the matter.
“You will get the correct information of how soldiers and policemen were able to trace these bunch of criminal elements to their hideout in the forest.
“The matter is before the Commissioner of Police who has invited me on May 4, 2023, so, if you have the time just feel free to come so that you can hear also from the police.
“They think they can blackmail me, but no way! Am not an illiterate traditional ruler. Am a senior Citizen of this country who served the nation for 35 years without blemish, and I know my rights. They cannot intimidate or tarnish the reputation I have built over the years,” the monarch insisted.
Meanwhile, efforts to get the police reaction were unsuccessful as the Command’s Spokesperson, DSP Daniel Ndukwe didn’t take his calls or respond to text messages as of the time of filing this report.