Youths flee as soldiers on alleged revenge mission invade Enugu communities
Residents of Akpawfu, Amagunze and Akpugo communities have reportedly deserted their homes following alleged military operation in the communities.
It was gathered that the invasion was as a result of an attack on a police checkpoint at a neighbouring community of Obeagu Uno in the Enugu South Local Government Area where six policemen were killed by unidentified gunmen on Wednesday.
Youths of the communities have been said to have fled over fear that the soldiers might use the opportunity of the cops’ killings to brutalise them.
According to PUNCH, sources in the communities stated that the soldiers numbering over 40, stormed the communities in four armoured vehicles and stationed at strategic roads connecting to the communities.
One of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity from Agudene village in Akpwafu, said that the soldiers claimed that they were looking for members of the Indigenous People of Biafra’s Eastern Security Network alleged to be camped in forests there.
He said that some houses belonging to community members whom they alleged were used to harbour criminals and plan attacks on security infrastructure were demolished.
Another source disclosed that youths fled the communities fearing that the soldiers purportedly attached to the 82 Divisional headquarters of the Nigerian Army, Enugu might use the opportunity of the cops’ killings to brutalise them.
A villager identified as Onyekachukwu Onovo, said, “Right now, young men in the community and even women have fled the community as the soldiers claimed that those houses being searched were used as camps by the gunmen.
“For me, I don’t know if that is true. Why soldiers are punishing us is what I don’t understand. Our youths are running away to other towns because we know that the soldiers see the youth as targets.”
Another villager said the soldiers were attracted to the areas upon discovery of a burnt Hilux van abandoned near St Philip Catholic Church, Akpawfu. He added that the van was said to be one of the vehicles the gunmen used to attack the police checkpoint on Wednesday.
The traditional ruler of Adamagu Akpawfu, Igwe Christopher Nnamani, who confirmed the invasion said, “People are calling me that there are soldiers in the villages in my community. I don’t know who they are looking for. I have told my subjects to remain calm until they arrest anyone. To the best of my knowledge they have not arrested anyone but people are calling me and they are running away from the villages. Some are running to my own village.”
Igwe Nnamani lamented that the army didn’t tell him the reason behind the invasion.
“Nobody has told me anything as the reason for the invasion. I have not even seen the soldiers with my eyes, only that people are running and that soldiers are in their villages. I am a traditional ruler and if there should be military operations in my community, I should be informed. In this case nobody told me why the soldiers invaded my community,” he added.
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