Not less than three persons have reportedly died in Ukwa West local government area of Abia State as youths of the area protest the killing of their kinsman by suspected armed ‘Fulani Herdsmen’.
Sources said that the people of the area are now living in fears over possible arrest of innocent citizens by police and other security agencies.
Some sources disclosed that the reported killing of one Israel Nwaobilor, 36 years old (a tipper driver) who hails from Umuorie community in Ukwa West LGA sparked the killing of two other persons; a wheelbarrow petty trader and a commercial motorcyclist that their identities were yet to be unraveled as they were reportedly caught in the web of a protest by youths of Umuorie community which went violent.
Nwaobilor was said to have gone to load sharp sand in his tipper to supply to one of his clients when he was reportedly abducted by some persons suspected to and found dead in the bush some days.
A source in Ukwa West that spoke anonymously with our correspondent said “I learnt that late Isreal Nwaobilor had gone to load sand in his tipper when he was abducted by some gunmen said to be fulani herdsmen.
“It was gathered that there was no official report at the police in-charge of the area over the missing of Obilor.
“His killing which happened on the 18th of June was said to have happened few weeks after a woman was kidnapped and killed by suspected fulani herdsmen.
“According to report, a search was conducted and his corpse was not found. His body was said to have been found in the bush days later by some persons who later reported the matter to the police.
“But before police could get to the scene, the youths had gone to evacuate the body of the deceased from the said location.
“The youths upon discovery of the body of the young man took his body to the street to protest his killing.
“The protest however, turned violent as the youths started destroying properties.
“The youths were said to have taken the corpse of the deceased to the residence of the DPO where they tried to force themselves into the compound, but when they were resisted, they now took to the streets and went violent.
“They started attacking any Hausa man and woman that they sighted and when they saw one Hausa man selling things with his wheelbarrow, they pounced on him
“They thought that other man was a police officer, not knowing that he was just an innocent commercial motorcyclist.
“It was at the point where the police could not handle the situation that they invited soldiers from the 144 Battalion who waded into the matter to stop the youths from causing further damage in the community.”
While a version has it that many residents had left the community, another report has it that calm is gradually returning to the area.
In his reaction, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Geoffrey Ogbonna said that the body of the deceased (Israel Nwaobilor) was found in the bush by hunters.
“Angry mob went on rampage carrying the corpse of the deceased driver to the Police Station.
“After being addressed and dispersed, they mobilized to the major road where they intercepted a herder and a motor cyclist who they eventually vexed their anger on leading to lost of lives.
“Corpses of the driver and cyclist were deposited in the morgue while that of the herder was released to his relations on demand for burial.”