Ohafia Crisis: Council Boss Calls for Calm as Army Debunks Allegation Of Invasion
The Chairman of Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, Dr. Okorafor Ukiwe has appealed to indigenes of embattled Amangwu Community to return back to their homes as normalcy gradually returns following the recent crisis which rocked the area.
Recall that the Amangwu community was recently immersed in crisis as indigenes of the area reportedly fled their homes after Thursday’s attack on the community allegedly carried out by military men from 14 Brigade, Ohafia.
Trouble was set to have started in the community, when a military personnel, who reportedly visited the community, allegedly got missing; a development which led to the alleged invasion of the community by soldiers said to be searching for their missing colleague.
Investigation by National Ambassador reveal that residents of the community have all gone into hiding, leaving the area completely deserted and desolate.
But, the Ohafia Local Government Council Boss in a statement made available to Newsmen called for calm and urged traditional rulers, youths and people of the Area to go about their normal legitimate duties especially on Mondays without fear.
Dr Okoroafor advised residents of the local government to be vigilant and ensure that strange elements do not settle in their midst to commit crimes.
He thanked law enforcement agents and the Nigerian Army for keeping with the tenants of the constitution in the discharge of their legitimate duties.
Meanwhile, the Director, Army Public Relations of the Nigerian Army, 82 Division,Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, has denied allegation of invasion of Amangwu Community by her men in search of the missing sergeant.
The Army in a statement noted that the said soldier who was officially on leave pass was abducted on 2 November 2022, along Okwu-Ebem Ohafia in Abia State and based on intelligence report, troops embarked on a Search and Rescue Operation at Amangwu Village/Forest, alleging that it confirmed same as an Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN) enclave, where the soldier was reportedly held hostage.
According to him, during the search and rescue operations, contact was made with members of the proscribed armed groups resulting in exchange of fire.
Brigadier General Nwachukwu further stated that troops had continued the search and rescue operation in Okon Aku where it also came in contact with members of the armed groups, during which troops neutralized one of the criminals and recovered one AK 47 rifle with a magazine loaded with 7 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) and one mobile phone.
Part of the statement by the Nigerian Army reads: “In a follow up operation on 5 November 2022, troops raided another enclave of the groups around Amangwu Village in Abia State. During the operation, troops neutralized two of the criminals, while some fled with gunshot wounds. Troops recovered two locally fabricated AK 47 rifles, four Pump Action guns, one locally made Pistol, one Sniper rifle, six magazines, 13 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) and one Motorcycle.
“Other items recovered from the dissidents are 2 CCTV cameras, one solar panel, flags, one walkie-talkie, 2 mobile phones, two pamphlets of Biafran anthem, one INEC box, 12 face caps, machetes, pairs of combat boots, pairs of rain boot, camouflage uniforms, one transistor radio, two jungle hats, two knee guards, one power bank, one INEC image capturing machine and a PVC. Sadly, during these engagements, one soldier paid the supreme sacrifice”.
The Nigerian Army however, warned that it will leave no stone unturned in the search of the abducted soldier while assuring the general public that all operations will be conducted within the ambit of the law and in line with global best practices, Rules of Engagement and Code of Conducts guiding its operations.