It was serious pandemonium that took over recently as gunmen perceived to be joint security operatives allegedly invaded Umuonyeoka Ihitteafoukwu and Okponkume communities in the Ahiazu Mbaise local government area of Imo State on Saturday.
The gunmen were said to have razed houses belonging to suspected members of Eastern Security Network.
On arrival in the communities, the security operatives who allegedly came in seven vehicles headed to the homes of their targets, and on meeting their absence, burnt their houses.
An indigene of the community simply identified as Emmanuella said that her grandma was injured during the raid and had gone into a coma.
In a statement, Emeka Obasi, who is an indigene of the area condemned the manner the operation was carried out.
His statement read, “In the early hours of Saturday 12th February 2022, Umuonyeoka, a quiet and Peaceful Community in Ihitteafoukwu town, was ruffled with a seemingly gestapo style of invasion by armed men suspected to be law enforcement agents, who came in seven cars shooting sporadically and headed to the compound of the Madus.
“It was alleged that they came to apprehend one Mr Uche Madu who is alleged to be a member of the ESN group but when they couldn’t get him, all hell was let loose and they descended on the country home of his siblings, Sonyval and Chinonso Madu which they set ablaze without allowing even a single pin to be evacuated from the building.”
Another source from Ihitteafoukwu autonomous community who didn’t want his name mentioned disclosed that the security men bursted the house of one Mr Ekene popularly known as ‘Ekeson’, a member of Vigilante group in the community, and apprehended him while he was trying to escape and later returned to set his family house ablaze with three other neighboring houses in the compound.
He said, “Unidentified security men came to Okponkume, arrested Ekeson and burnt down their house and neighbors. It’s believed the security men are after ESN members.”
In a video circulating online while ‘Ekeson’s’ family house was on fire saw family members and good spirited individuals trying to quench the raging fire and a voice was heard saying, “See this house has burnt, people’s property has burnt to ashes”
Also in another video, Chinomso Madu’s house, a brother to Uche Madu who they came to apprehend was also set ablaze after they were unable to apprehend him.
Speaking on a video, a voice stated, “This is what we are seeing now. The house of our brother, Chinomso Madu. See how security operatives set it on fire and watched it burn, they came with seven cars. This is what we are seeing in our land.”
A spokesperson for the police in the state, Michael Abattam, had yet to respond to an inquiry made about the development.