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Two dead as youth go on rampage in Ebonyi

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By Ruth Oginyi

Violence erupted in the early hours of Monday in the Nkaliki area of Abakaliki local government area, Ebonyi state leaving two persons dead.

The uneasy calm started on Sunday night, lasting till Monday morning among the youths.

Among the deceased were Pastor John Onu, said to have been hit by a bullet while praying in his residence at Hatchery, Nkaliki Road, Abakaliki the state capital, when security agents stormed a hotel in the area where irate youths attempted to set.

Youths of Ebyia Unuphu, Abakaliki local government area of the state had gone on a rampage, burning houses in the area after a man in the community was beaten to a pulp and he died in the process.

Correspondent reports that the youths left the community and moved to Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital on Monday morning where they destroyed the parts of the hotel belonging to one Chukwudi Onyibe, special assistant to the chairman of the local government, Emmanuel Nwangele, on internally generated revenue, adding that it took the intervention of policemen and other security agencies to avert the razing of the hotel by the rampaging youths.

The security agents shot sporadically to disperse the irate youths but a stray bullet hit Pastor Onu of Glorious Gospel Fire Assembly living opposite the hotel as he observed his morning devotion. The bullet reportedly hit him in the heart.

The rampaging further youths attempted to attack Abakaliki local government headquarters, Nakaliki but were dispersed by the security agents on the ground.

Contacted, Nwangele confirmed the incident, saying “I was about to go to the village that night to calm the youths but somebody advised me that it was late; that it was better (I went) in the morning. It was after that that I was informed that somebody died and that they were rampaging to the extent that they came to one Bosco Guest House and were dispersed by the police. They went back home and set ablaze houses.

“I was told that they also moved to my own house and set it ablaze, destroying so many things. I don’t know the genesis of the problem? They also went back to that Bosco’s hotel and, according to information, they tried to come to Abakaliki local government headquarters but security agencies prevented them.

“Chukwudi Onyibe is my SA on IGR. But information reaching me said that they conveyed Ebubeagu people to go and arrest somebody who stole something and on the way to that place, they clashed with somebody who overtook their vehicle and from there, they had some squabble.

When contacted the assistant police public relations of the state police command, Philip Levi confirmed the incident but said everything had been brought under control.

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