There is anger, sorrow and fear in Ekpaomaka, Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State following the invasion of the House of the Council Chairman, Chief Steve Orogwu by gunmen and killing his 75-yearold elder brother and two of his sons.
The gunmen also killed a security guard in the house and burnt down the building. It was a night attack that took place penultimate Tuesday. The council Chairman was not in the village when the gunmen struck as a source said the hoodlums didn’t meet Orogwu at home.
Those killed by the gunmen are; Chief Egwu Orogwu, Chigbo Orogwu, Sunday Orogwu, his two sons and Kelechi Nwangwu the security guard. Chief Steve Orogwu has confirmed the attack and killings by the gunmen.
He said: “They attacked my family compound at Ikwo at night and killed my elder brother and two of his sons and a security guard.” He also said the gunmen set ablaze the family house in the compound. It was further learnt that the corpses of the victims have since been deposited at a mortuary in Abakaliki. Widespread condemnation has trailed the attack and killings in the Orogwu family house. The state Governor, Chief Dave Umahi, had also decried the incident, describing it as a vicious and barbaric act of inhumanity.
He said: “We received the disturbing news of the attack in the home of the Chairman of Ikwo Local Government Area by unknown gunmen, the attack is inhuman, it is vicious and barbaric.” He called on security agencies to expedite action and unravel the perpetrators of the dastardly act and bring them to justice. He added: “I call on the Security Agencies to speedily hunt for and arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice.”
He commiserated with Orogwu and all those who lost their loved ones in the attack and appealed to them to be consoled and remain calm as the government intensifies effort to track down the culprits. On his part, the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, who is from Ikwo Local Government Area also condemned the attack. He added: “The attack on the Ekpaomaka home of the Council Chairman by yet-to-be identified gunmen is not only a barbaric affront to the people of Ikwo Noyo, but a flagrant disregard to the sanctity of human lives. “The Chairman of the council as the Chief Security officer to my knowledge has always been on his toes in the restoration and maintenance of peace in different parts of the council.
“It is my firm belief that the attackers were nothing but enemies who were envious of the tranquility and peace in Ekpaomaka and by extension Ikwo Noyo clan. Their target is to breach the peace which the people have enjoyed. “The present administration headed by our peace loving Governor, His Excellency Engr, David Nweze Umahi has always been proactive in preventing the escalation of crisis in any part of the State. I therefore urge the people of Ikwo Noyo and Ekpaomaka Community in particular to remain calm as no effort will be spared to uncover those behind the attack.
“I also charge security agencies to launch thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attack in order to bring the perpetrators to book. “To Elder Stephen Okere Orogwu’s family, I most sincerely on behalf of my family express my heartfelt condolences.”
Another stakeholder in Ikwo and member representing Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Chinedu Ogah, described the incident as shocking. He said: “It is saddening to note that these unscrupulous elements killed non-combatant and innocent persons during their evil operation.
“I condemn the attack in strong terms while urging the security operatives to investigate the matter and make sure that the perpetrators are brought to book. “On behalf of my family and the good people of Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency, I condole with the family of the Executive Chairman of Ikwo Local Government Area; Elder Steve Orogwu and Ebonyi State Government. “Ebonyi State has been a peaceful state and I commend the efforts of the governor, Engr Chief David Nweze Umahi and his deputy, Barr. Eric Kelechi Igwe in maintaining peace across the LGAs.
As a government, there is a need to intensify security measures in the state now and all hands must be on deck.” Also, the State Special Security Consultant, Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha condemned the incident, describing it as most barbaric and unfortunate. He regretted that the despicable act came at a time when the state was being celebrated as the most peaceful and economic- vibrant state in the country.
While expressing sadness that the perpetrators of the dastardly act do not project the image of the state in good light nor represent the ideals of the people, he said normalcy has since returned to the area as surveillance operations have been intensified in the area and other parts of the state.
He added: “I am deeply saddened that these unscrupulous elements could strike in this manner, but they should rest assured that security searchlights have been beamed on them as they will within the shortest time be apprehended and prosecuted in line with the law. “I want to reiterate the fact that there is no safe haven for crime in the state. For some of them that engage in guerrilla warfare, the security personnel will not and never allow them to threaten the existing peace in the state.
“May I also console the family of elder Orogwu and the entire people of Ikwo Local Government Area for the unfortunate incident. May the Almighty God grant the deceased eternal rest.” Emegha, however, used the opportunity to advise the members of the public to always endeavour to volunteer useful and prompt information to the security agencies when they suspect unholy activities lurking around their vicinities for quick intervention