On Saturday Evening, soldiers from the 14 Brigade, Army Headquarters, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Barracks, Ohafia, and gunmen exchanged gunfire in the Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State.
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According to information obtained by our reporter, the heavy exchange of gunfire between militants and soldiers has led inhabitants and indigenes of Elu, Amangwu, Ebem, and Amaekpu, Ohafia LGA to flee to neighbouring villages in order to avoid being caught in the crossfire.
According to unconfirmed accounts, six soldiers and a member of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) were killed in the clash.
Senator Orji Kalu, Senate Chief Whip, and other State and National Assembly members are being urged to assist the people.
Many male youngsters in the community have fled their homes in the hamlet for other places in the state for safety, according to a source who talked to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity.
“We learned that some boys suspected of being part of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) arrived to the famed Ebem Motor Park and began firing before fleeing.
“Following that, soldiers from 14 Brigade Ohafia, whose command headquarters is in the region, came and went after them.
“We learned that six troops were killed by unknown shooters, and it has been misery on earth since then. Gunshots had been heard from all directions.
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“Soldiers have intimidated us in a variety of ways. Some of our relatives have relocated to Uzuakoli, Umuahia, Aba, and other locations where they believe they will be safer. We’re in the village, but soldiers have control over our freedom of movement.
“Marriage ceremonies billed to take place any time soon have been shifted indefinitely. We learnt that at Elu, soldiers went to market and started pursuing people.
“A lot of houses have been burnt at Amangwu Ohafia community. They said that members of ESN were using the houses as their hideout; that I can’t validate. You need to call anyone from Amangwu to validate such claims. But what I can tell you right now is that Ohafia is on fire,” said the source.
An indigene of Amangwu Ohafia who spoke from his hideout confirmed the invasion of his community by soldiers of 14 Brigade, Ohafia, with the claim that members of ESN that killed their personnel were hiding in Amangwu community.
The source who disclosed that they later started hearing heavy gunfire in their village in the early hours of Friday, confirmed the burning of people’s houses, arrest and indiscriminate harassment of indigenes of their community by the soldiers.
“I don’t know the actual number. Some reports were saying six soldiers were killed, others said four and some ESN members were killed in the heavy gunfire. But the truth is that the Amangwu community, including Elu, Ebem and Amaepku, are all on fire.
“We are begging Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and other federal and state lawmakers to come to our rescue.”
Army spokesman, Capt. Dauda Illiya, could not take calls placed to his mobile line, while the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Geoffrey Ogbonn, could not confirm the report.
According to Ogbonna, he is yet-to-be informed of such development in Ohafia Local Government Area.
Credit : THE NATION
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