I am helpless in what is happening in this Imo State community — Rochas

Imo State was thrown into pandemonium when rival groups turned on each other in Ohajo-Egbema Local Government area.

The incident happened began about a week ago when some youths pounced on a man in a market square and [neutralized] him.

In the unfolding event that followed, eight other people were [neutralized] in the same village.

Corroborating the story, the Government Liaison Officer of the council, Oluchi Odita, confirmed the incidence.

According to Odita “It is the youths who are [neutralizing] one another.

“We have been trying to mediate without any success. People are running away from the community,” Oluchi said.

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Another indigene told Vanguard Metro that “Problem started when the state government decided to encroach into the traditional selection process.

“Some groups who did not want to be ruled by leaders imposed by the government kicked and started fomenting trouble.

“This is the primary cause of the unrest.”

Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, said “We heard that some people were [neutralized], but the situation is not as terrible as that.

“Two gangs are involved and the problem has been on for about three years.

“Residents don’t cooperate with the police in the area of information, hence it is difficult to make arrests.

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“We have also deployed units of policemen in the area and soldiers are making efforts to send in troops as well.”

The Imo State Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, said “There has been a crisis in that area over oil.

“I don’t know whether this oil is a blessing or a curse.

“I don’t know whether to tell God to dry up the supply of oil in the community.

“The government is almost helpless in this matter. We have done our best to douse the tension. All effort proved helpless,” he added.

As at the time of filing this report, schools, markets and churches are under lock and key as residents have fled the community.