From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri

It is no longer in doubt that some hoodlums have adopted beheading as a new form of crime in some parts of Imo State, but what is in doubt and worrisome is why they are engaging in this gory act.

Our correspondent who visited the debris of a hotel burnt down by alleged security operatives at Okporo, Orlu in the penultimate Sunday can authoritatively report why the act was carried out.

While the hotel and private residence of the hotelier was razed by the security operatives, a native of the community had his head chopped off and displayed on the road by some evil-minded hoodlums.

Our correspondent gathered from the residents that the victim was paying dearly for allegedly being a whistle blower to the police.

Moreover, the source said that police have invaded their community severally, killing and arresting them and tagging them members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The same reason he added was deduced to why the security operatives stormed the community again and razed down the buildings perceived to belong to the hotelier who police have linked to being a financier of IPOB.

A statement by the police confirmed the claims behind razing of the hotel and home of the hotelier known as Chinonso Uba.

The statement released by the Imo State Police Public Relation Officer, Michael Abattam, explained that a 15-year-old boy, Emmanuel Nnaji, described as a bandit arrested with a bullet wound after an attack on the police division in the area subsequently led them to the hotel, allegedly used as a hideout by the hoodlums.

“On interrogation by the command’s tactical teams, the suspect gave a vivid description of a hotel located in Orlu as where they, the  bandits, stayed, planned, before they executed their dastardly act on the police stations.

“He further stated that, the owner of the hotel has been accommodating and assisting them financially. He then volunteered and led security forces to the location of the hotel,” the police claimed.

When our correspondent visited the scene, natives of the community were observed to be living in fears, afraid of not being the next victim of beheading.

Most of them accosted seemed to feign ignorance of what has happened or even refused to talk. Some of them who managed to talk only pretended to be strangers to the community.  But fortunately, one of them who was a little bit bold to talk to our correspondent admitted that the people were afraid to talk and they are being mindful of anybody seeing them with a stranger .

Even though he did not disclose his name, he said: “Nobody will talk to you here, all of them are afraid of being labelled an “Osu imi” (whistleblower). I’m only talking to you because you said you’re a journalist.

“Nobody wants to die, most of these people beheaded were as a result of the ‘Osu imi’ ,that is all I can tell you.” 

When inquired who were the people behind the dastardly act, he said: “That I cannot answer you, but are you not an Igbo, if you say some people belong to IPOB, how about those hoodlums among us here that are passionate about the Biafra restoration that may not be a member of IPOB.

“Some of these bad boys take it upon their shoulders to do all sort of things, moreover, they are not happy how police have been killing our people and arresting them, so anybody discovered I believe pay that wicked price, so you don’t need to bother asking anybody about this, I even advise that you should go.” 

It would be recalled that on June 16, at Orsu council area of the state, a lawmaker from the area, Ekene Ndumele escaped death by whiskers, but his gateman did not as he was beheaded by the hoodlums.

The same day in the same community, an All Progressives Congress(APC) chieftain, Jonathan Ugochukwu also had his head chopped off.

Also, a native doctor, Paschal Okeke, as reported at Oru East, Awommama had his head severed from his body this time purportedly by members of ESN who allegedly claimed that the charms prepared for them were impotent.

Although, IPOB has denied the claim, contrary to the claims that the group is behind the beheading and attacks on police stations, the Biafran has declared war on any gunmen caught engaging in such act. This was contained in a statement issued last week by the spokesperson of the group, Emma Powerful.

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