The Chairman of the Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Eni-Uduma Chima, and the lawmaker representing Afikpo South-West, Mr Nkemka Onuma, have accused each other of masterminding a bloody clash that caused the death of one Chidi Agwa-Arua in Nguzu Edda, the lawmaker’s community.
Youths loyal to the lawmaker and the Local Government Anti-coronavirus Task Force members had last Friday clashed in Nguzu Edda community, when the latter were moving round to enforce the ban on social and religious gatherings in the area.
Governor David Umahi had in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in some parts of the country banned burials, weddings, religious and social gatherings within the state and set up a task force to monitor and enforce compliance.
The LGA chairman accused the lawmaker of supervising attacks on members of the anti-coronavirus task force who came to his compound to know why he was holding an event in spite of the ban.
He said, “The anti-coronavirus task force people accosted Nkemka (Onuma) about a ceremony that was holding in his compound and they were beaten up on his orders. He mobilised a crowd to protect him, but he couldn’t control them and they mounted roadblocks and started attacking motorists, vandalising vehicles, and beating up people.
“When the police arrived, the crowd refused to disperse. They later joined riot policemen and soldiers.
“The soldiers who killed the boy are not denying it. They have made statements both to the army and the police authorities. Nkemka is just trying to trivialise and politicise it.
“The death of that young man was caused by Nkemka for allowing people to mount a blockade in front of his father’s compound to protect him.”
But the lawmaker denied holding any public event against the governor’s directive, adding that Agwa-Arua was killed by Chima’s thugs from Ekoli, led by one Mukoro.
He said, “I knew Eni-Uduma (referring to the council chairman) was trying to set a trap for me, but I’m adaka (a chimpanzee); so his trap won’t catch me.
“I had visitors as an honourable member. The chairman sent the task force men as early as 8am.They passed so many times and did not enter my compound. One Mukoro came around 4pm, and asked people in front of my compound why they were loitering, they beat him up and he took off and later came back with a squad of thugs. My cousins told me that Eni-Uduma’s boys, led by Mukoro, were shooting guns.”