The violence which has spiked in Mbaise, Imo State, in the last two weeks assumed a frightening dimension on Monday, November 27, when gunmen killed two policemen at the popular Ahiara Junction in Ahiazu-Mbaise local government area.
The policemen were serving at the Ahiazu Police Station.
An eyewitness who spoke to TheNiche on phone said stray bullet also killed one young man who was there at the filling station
Details of the gory incident still remain sketchy but a video clip which has gone viral on the social media indicates that the policemen were shot and killed at one of the filling stations at the Junction.
Narrating what happened, the eyewitness who pleaded anonymity said: “Hell was let loose today at Ahiara Junction. Ordinarily, today is Monday and sit-at-home day and people don’t usually come out because of fear.
“Soldiers are permanently stationed at the Junction but they all went out and barely 20 minutes later, these armed men arrived, killed the two policemen at the filling station and the stray bullet also killed one boy.
“Now there is total confusion. Policemen came with Hilux vans from Owerri and packed everyone they could see including old women who were just selling fruits and took them away.
“The soldiers themselves returned and started burning the motorbikes of the okada riders. It is total mayhem. Meanwhile, those who committed the crime had escaped.”
A traditional ruler from Ezinihitte Mbaise Council Area of Imo State, Eze Joe-Benz Ochulor, Olu 1 of Otulu Amumara, was found dead on Sunday after he was kidnapped from his palace on Saturday evening.
The lifeless body of the monarch, a retired school principal, was found on Sunday by the road side at Mbutu community in Aboh Mbaise Council.
The death of the Imo monarch comes days after Imo PDP ward chairman for Ife/Akpodim/Chokoneze Ward, Ezinihitte Mbaise Council Area, Smith Chiedoziem Anyanwu, was murdered in the presence of his wife.
The gunmen had arrived and demanded to see him. Upon confirming that he was the one they were looking for, they shot him and confirmed that he was dead before they left the scene.
“We don’t know what this is all about. Mbaise Nation and the people are peaceful people. This has been a very peaceful area. We don’t know who is doing this and why. This is sad,” said a concerned Mbaise son who also wanted to remain anonymous.
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