Scores Injured, Vehicles, Buildings Destroyed As Odekpe Youths Go On Rampage Over Election

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By Julie Sylvia, Onitsha

No fewer than 30 vehicles, 20 buildings and other properties estimated into millions of naira were Tuesday destroyed by irate Odekpe youths, in Ogbaru Local Government Area, Anambra State, over election crisis in the community.

It was gathered that trouble started when the landlords Association ( non indigenes) resident in the area wanted to conduct election to elect those that will pilot the affairs of the landlords association in the area which did not go down well with the indigenes.

Consequently, the indigenes in a bid to hold firm the leadership of the community, sponsored a candidate of their own and conducted election last Sunday, ahead of the election of the landlords association billed for last Monday.

As the landlords association members were conducting the election on Monday at Creative Model School Odekpe, the Odekpe youths stormed the scene and sacked the entire people, destroyed the chairs, tables, electoral materials, vehicles, buildings, among others.

The landlords association who insisted on conducting the election, went to another venue where they successfully conducted the election and Hon. Sunday Obinze, was declared the winner.

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Dissatisfied with the successful conduct of the election that produced Obinze as the President of the landlords association, the Ogbaru youths went on rampage,injured many, destroyed vehicles, buildings, among others.

Reacting, the elected President, Obinze, said, “At about 7.30 am this morning, some youths from Ogbaru, stormed my house, set my car ablaze, smashed the glass windows, doors, collected #3.5million meant for my workers.

“They must pay for the damages and car, including those of other people. What they destroyed worth over #30million. One person is almost dead, and over 15 people sustained various degrees of injuries. The Igwe of Odekpe and the PG, Innocent Nwanosike, sent the youths, the youths made it known to us when they were doing the destruction,” he stated.

Also the secretary, Okolie Chukwunonso, stated that the youths broke his pharmacy and removed #4million used for POS business, carted away his barbing equipments, provisions in his shop, among others.

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He accused the President General of Odekpe and the monarch of being brains behind the destructions that resulted in residents vacating the community.

An industrialist, who was elected the Vice President, Chief Uchenna Ike, said five vehicles were destroyed in his house and industry, including those of other people within his premises.

“They collected #1.5million from my house, smashed the doors, windows and other properties when they came in. Scores were injured and I want Governor Soludo to come to our rescue,” he pleased.

The former vice president of the landlords association, Chief Hycient Nwakibie Idu, said, ” When the youths came to my house they were shouting, ‘where is Idu so that we will kill him,’ they did not know I was peeping from my house upstairs.

“They destroyed more than seven vehicles packed in my house, drank 15 cartons of beer worth thousands of naira owned by a woman that runs provision shop in my house. What they destroyed because the Igwe of Odekpe and PG sent them, worth about #10 million, he stated.

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Mr Godwin Nweke whose phone was removed and wife hit with hammer, cried for help to Governor Soludo, padding that he has no business with their election issue.

In a swift reaction, the accused President General of Odekpe community, Innocent Nwanosike, said he heard of the mayhem lamenting the damages.

“This case would have been amicably solved by the court or Government instead of resorting to violence. This case is election matter, who will be the President of the landlords association,” he disclosed.

Confirming the incident, the State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Ikenga Tochukwu, (DSP), said the police were on top of the situation.

Pic shows the newly elected President of the landlords association, Sunday, pic 2. Cross section of vehicles destroyed.

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