From Jude Chinedu, Enugu

There is palpable tension in Okpanku community in Aninri local government area of Enugu as soldiers attached to Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, have allegedly shot two indigenes of the area and whisked one of them away.

It was learnt that the attack might not be unconnected with brewing land dispute between Okpanku community and their Uburu neighbours, Governor Umahi’s native community.

President General of Okpanku community, Obiora Obasi, who briefed newsmen in Enugu, Saturday, alongside the councillor representing Okpanku ward, Emmanuel Okereke, said that the affected victims, Ifeanyi Ezichukwu and Oti Nwakpa went to swim at Ivo River on Thursday where they were shot by the soldiers attached who took away Izichukwu while Nwakpa was rescued back home where he is receiving treatment in a hospital.

Okereke said: “When I heard about the incident, I rushed down to the village to confirm and I found out that they shot two of our brothers, one Izichukwu Ifeanyi and one Oti Nwakpa. They narrated that they went to the farm and because the sun was too hot; they went down to the river, just to cool their body and drink some water. The one standing up told me that he saw a sign given to the military personnel under the bridge being constructed.

“He called them that they should get up that what he was seeing was not funny and one of the military men approached them. They quickly got up from the river and were on their way going home towards our community because they didn’t even cross the Ivo River and the soldiers started pursuing them and started shooting them. Unfortunately, they shot Nwakpa and Ifeanyi.

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“They looked around that Ifeanyi was not with them and there was nothing they could do and they can’t go back. So, they rushed Nwakpa and used his cloth to tie the bullet wound and took him back to our village. As I talk, he is still in the hospital and the bullet has been removed.”

President General of Okpanku community, Mr. Obasi alleged that the incident was a fall out of an annexation decision of Ebonyi State government particularly that of the Governor.

“Since Umahi became the Governor, he has taken it upon himself to annex Okpanku land and a whole lot of other communities in Aninri local government area. He has employed different tactics such as intimidation, harassment and in some instances, some of our people have been maimed and we had written at several times to authorities and complained even as far as the Inspector General of Police, we have written, different police commands in Enugu and Ebonyi States.”

Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe said he was yet to receive the report but the Okpanku community leaders claimed they had reported the matter to the Aniniri Divisional police office.

They also said that the police had visited one of the victims in the hospital, while the whereabouts of the abducted second victim was yet to be ascertained.