From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
Residents of Amasiri in Afikpo North local government area of Ebonyi state have accused members of the Ebubeagu Security Network of killing five youths in the area.
The residents alleged that the incident took place at the weekend.
Some of the injured persons were alleged to had been forcibly taken to Abakaliki, by security operatives from a hospital in Afikpo, where they were said to be receiving treatment.
The Ebubeagu operatives, it was gathered, were said to have arrived in five Toyota Sienna vehicles in Amaebor, Ohaechara village square in Amasiri, and opened fire on the youth for allegedly sealing off a Lebanese-owned quarry company, Conrock.
The youth, according to a source, who spoke to our Correspondent on condition of anonymity, had assembled at the square to share a monetary gift given them by the management of Conrock for unsealing the company, when the operatives arrived.
The source added that the youth were also deliberating on how to approach invitations hitherto sent to them by the Afikpo Divisional Police Command and the Area Command, for sealing the company.
According to the source, “We were expected to appear before the Area Command and the division on Monday (today) and Tuesday before Ebubeagu people came and started shooting at us for engaging them in an argument. We told them we had reached an agreement with the company and that we had unsealed the company.
“Their management even gave something in appreciation for our peaceful conduct. So we are at a loss as to why Ebubeagu people came and shot some of us. One of those shot died on the way to the hospital while two others died while receiving treatment.”
Another source said one other youth died on Saturday morning from gun wound.
He said that, “Some of those injured were taken by security men from the hospital where they were being attended to Abakaliki the following day (Sunday). And they came and were chasing and firing sporadically, when a stray bullet hit another youth, who died immediately.”
The source explained that the youths, prior to sealing the company accused the management of foot-dragging on the rehabilitation of a four-kilometre road in Amaebor and the naming of their Community Liaison Officer.
The source accused some Amasiri political office holders of using their positions to ensure that Amaebor was denied the opportunity of producing the CLO.
“We know that the Ebubeagu operatives were invited by the said political officers because they want the CLO to be appointed from another village in Ohaechara instead of Amaebor that the post is zoned to,” the source added.
The source called on the state government to investigate the killings, which according to him, were unwarranted since the youth had resolved their disagreements with the management of Conrock.
When contacted,Police Spokesperson in the state ,Loveth Odah, said she had no detail of the incident.
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