Residents of Isuaniocha Community in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State were thrown into a state of panic, following a clash between the Department of Security Service (DSS) attached to the newly elected Traditional Ruler of the community, Igwe Barr. Mkpouorah Ngini and suspected hoodlums in the area.
News Direct gathered that the incident was triggered when a faction of the community wanted to present the traditional ruler for his maiden address to the people, a move which met stiff resistance by those who were allegedly hired to disrupt the move.
Igwe Ngini was among the four traditional rulers recently presented with a certificate of recognition by the State Governor, Prof Charles Soludo, on the 19th of August 2023.
According to an eyewitness, it was when the traditional ruler’s convoy was about to leave the vicinity that some unidentified armed men engaged the security operatives in a gun battle that lasted over 30 minutes.
“Fear and tension generated by the situation forced many shop owners, motorists and other road users to scamper for safety as gunshots rented the air with teargas canisters released to disperse the surging hoodlums.
It was gathered also that at the last count, no person was either killed or injured, but a Hilux Panel Van said to belong to the DSS caught fire at Obibia Bridge, a situation which caused heavy gridlock on the only road to the community.
Another source in the community, who does not want his name in the print, said the unfortunate incident was not unconnected with an attempt by some unscrupulous elements in the community to sustain the crisis to enable them to continue with their unlawful land-grabbing business.
He noted that two DSS operatives were injured during the confrontation.
“This good and commendable development of having a traditional ruler instead of bringing joy, peace, happiness and progress to the community rather attracted the anger of some rather aggrieved faction in the community who refused to accept the new normal and allow the new Igwe to come into the community to begin to exercise his legitimate leadership authority and roles”
He therefore appealed to the state government and Police authority to wade into the unrest with a view to restoring normalcy in the community.
The Monarch, in his brief reaction, called for calmed, noting that he was elected to ensure peace and unity in the community.
Confirming the development, the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, said that the situation was under control as officers have been deployed for safety of lives and property, calling on the residents to cooperate with the police to fish out the perpetrators.
News Direct gathered that Isuaniocha community has been in crisis for a long time as a result of alleged unauthorised sale of landed property in the area as well as issues surrounding Igweship tussle for over 18 years.