An angry Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has ordered the arrest of the State Chairman All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman, Chief Stanley Okoro-Emegha and a prominent party stalwart and House of Representatives candidate, Chief Eni Chima over communal clas that led to the death of three persons.
Chima is the House of Representatives candidate for Afikpo North/South federal constituency at Ekoli-Edda, Afikpo South LGA, on December 26.
Property worth millions of naira including Okoro-Emegha’s house, were razed to the ground, while the axis of the violence has been cordoned off by a combined team of the Police, Army and the Ebubeagu security outfit.
The three persons killed are Kalu Egwu, a youth leader, Eme Orji, a younger brother of the State APC Chairman and an Inspector of Police attached to the Special Protection Unit (SPU).
Ebonyi Police Command spokesman, SP Chris Anyanwu, told journalists in Abakaliki on Tuesday, that the attack occurred on Monday evening at Ekoli Edda Community in Afikpo local Government Area of the state.
His words: “At about 1630hrs of Dec 26, a day popularly known as “Boxing Day”, a distress call was received that sporadic shootings and killings were going on at Ekoli-Edda between Ebubeagu operatives who accompanied their boss, Mr Stanley Okoro-Emegha, the State’s APC Chairman.
“The open shoot-out was not far-fetched from previous grudges existing among the political factions.
“In the process, a youth leader identified as Kalu Egwu was fatally wounded, later rushed to a neighboring hospital at Ohafia, Abia State where he was confirmed dead.
“Angered by his death, the youth of the area mobilized and went on rampage, killing Eme Orji, a younger brother of the State APC Chairman and an Inspector of Police attached to SPU.
“The irate youth equally set ablaze the village house of Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha, his Toyota Hilux van and a Toyota SIENNA space bus belonging to the Police Command’s Tactical Teams.
“When the Tactical Teams were despatched to Ekoli-Edda to take control of the situation, they were ambushed by the youth of the area at the village entrance. However, the operatives manouevred unhurt.”
Investigation into the murder case and malicious damages to Government and infividuals property in the area is ongoing, Anyanwu said, Addingham the violence was a result of an apparent struggle for supremacy and who controlled the area politically among two notable political stalwarts in Ekoli-Edda, Afikpo South LGA of the State.
The order of arrest to arrest the two party chieftains was contained in a statement signed by Umahi”s Special Assistant on Media and Strategy, Mr Chooks Oko on Tuesday.
He said that the govenor expressed dismay at violence during an assessment tour of the area.
The governor directed the state commissioner of police to arrest all those connected with the carnage and ensure they face justice.
The governor announced the suspension of all social gatherings in Edda until normalcy returns.
“He also urged the commissioner of police to deploy adequate security presence in the area to forestall further breakdown of law and order,” the statement read.