Panic reigns in the Ebenebe community in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State as thugs suspected of being cultists invaded the palace of the traditional ruler, Igwe Christopher Nnaegbune, and that of of his subjects, vandalizing and destroying property worth around 25 million naira.
The incident comes just five months after a suspected sectarian group attacked and killed around 20 people at a burial ceremony in the same community.
The incident, it was learned, happened between midnight Monday, but no lives were lost.
A source said the thugs who came in large numbers attacked the palace while the monarch and his subjects slept, firing sporadically into the air. No reason was given for the attack.
The source said: “Thugs numbering around 100 invaded the palace of the traditional chief of Ebenebe, around midnight on Monday. The Igwe had fallen asleep. They came prepared for war; some beat Ogene (metal gongs), while others fired sporadically in the air.
“When no one could open the door for them, they forced it open using their clubs and other dangerous weapons. However, they did not meet anyone outside the premises. After making noise, they left.
The thugs allegedly visited the compound of a late Chief Okoye in Obuno village, looking for a youth leader, identified as Mr Chukwujekwu Okoye, during which they vandalized aluminum gates , windows, chairs, a generator and other properties in the two buildings of the compound.
Although there is no information showing why the attack was launched against the two people, a source, who claimed to be awake when the incident occurred, said he heard the thugs say they had come to kill a family member, Mr. Chukwujekwu Okoye.
The eyewitness said that Chukwujekwu, who happens to be the youth president of Obuno village, has always used security guards to chase thugs out of the community, and the monarch was also against their nefarious activities, a situation which made them angry.
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A family member, Mr. Festus Okoye, said he narrowly escaped death on the day of the incident because the thugs, on discovering that he was in one of the rooms with his family, told them ordered out.
“Our lives are in danger. When they broke into our front door, they went around our compound, destroying all the windows and the alumaco doors to see if there were people in any of the rooms. rooms.
“It was during the process that they found out I was inside with my wife and child. They ordered us out. But I begged them. Hearing my voice, they said ‘Oh he is a man of God, let him be.’ This is how they spared my family,” Okoye said.
Corroborating this, Mr Chukwujekwu Okoye, who has been in hiding since the incident, said he reported the matter to the police and called for state government intervention, saying his life and that of his family were in danger because the thugs always threatened to kill him.
When contacted, the Ebenebe traditional chief, Igwe Christopher Nnaegbune, admitted that there had been an attack on his palace by thugs on the said date, but promised to provide details later.
In addition, state police command spokesman Tochukwu Ikenga said in his reaction that he had not received any reports or information about the attack.