Unknown Gunmen: Families Protest Disappearance of Sons/Husbands

Aggrieved families of missing sons of Okpo Ihechiowa in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State have staged a protest over the continued disappearance of their sons who were accused of being behind the dastardly acts of unknown gunmen who stormed the community.

Walking around the State Capital on Monday, the families revealed that since the incident happened in 2022 where the unknown gunmen invaded the community in January 2022 killing residents and causing havoc, the communities have known no peace and families have been destroyed following the unfounded accusation.

A reliable source revealed the unknown gunmen who camped in the forests surrounding the village left a trail of unanswered questions. As the investigation unfolded, the youth leader of the community Fidel Ndu was accused of being the mastermind of the attack. An accusation that has not been proven. The authorities revealed that the Youth provost Oluchukwu Ukah Diogu, Obasi Aki, Kalu Ekeoma, Peterson Chiowa and Jack Kalu Ndu were persons of interest who were still at large.

Despite the lack of evidence, some young men were picked up from their homes in the early hours of November 23, 2023, by men who identified as security agencies and are yet to be seen.

However, these individuals have since disappeared, leaving not only a void in justice but also raising concerns about the conduct of the authorities.

Meanwhile, the continued disappearance of the suspected masterminds has raised serious concerns regarding the conduct of the police and their commitment to delivering justice. The families of the victims, along with the community, are demanding transparency and accountability from the authorities. Many speculate that the missing individuals may have been victims of foul play, while others suspect police involvement in their disappearance.

Speaking to some of the families, a middle-aged man identified as Patrick Ogbonnaya stated that the young men who were accused were innocent of the crime.

“We were all in our home when we heard that there were strange faces in the village. I and some Elders went to where they were to find out what they wanted. They told us to kneel down not considering our ages. They said we should go about our businesses as we were not who they wanted. Immediately we left there, they started shooting sporadically. People were running helter-skelter. I broke my leg from that incident.

Afterwards, the security agents came around to restore peace but they started picking up boys from the community instead of going after gunmen who committed the crime. And who were still in our forests. Our community became a graveyard. Young men chose to leave and since then, there are many of them whom we have not seen and cannot account for. So we need people to lend their voices to our plight so that these young men who are breadwinners of their families can come home.”

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