Saturday, 12th June 2021: Palpable fear enveloped Ohafia as heavy exchange of gun battle was recorded between soldiers of 14 Brigade, Army Headquarters, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Barracks, Ohafia and unknown gunmen in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State.
CEOAFRICA gathered that the fierce exchange of gunfire between the gunmen and soldiers has caused residents and indigenes of Elu, Amangwu, Ebem and Amaekpu, Ohafia LGA to flee from their respective communities to neighbouring villages in order to avoid being caught up in the crossfire.
Unconfirmed sources stated that six soldiers and a member of the Eastern Security Network, (ESN), have been reportedly killed in the melee.
The villagers are calling on Senator Orji Kalu, Senate Chief Whip and other State and National Assembly members to come to their aides.
A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity stated that many male youths in the community who feared being innocently whisked away by soldiers and other security agents have left their homes in the village for another place of safety in the state.
“We learnt that some boys believed to be members of the Eastern Security Network came to the popular Ebem motor park and started shooting and later left.
“Soldiers from 14 Brigade Ohafia whose command headquarters is located in the area later came and went after them.
“We learnt that the unknown gunmen killed six soldiers and since that time, it is hell on earth. There have been sporadic gunshots from all corners.
“We have suffered all manner of intimidation from soldiers. Some of our kinsmen have relocated to Uzuakoli, Umuahia, Aba and anywhere they think that is safer for them. We are in the village but our right to movement is determined by soldiers.
“Marriages and other ceremonies billed to take place any time soon have been shifted indefinitely. We learnt that at Elu, soldiers went to the market and started pursuing people.
“A lot of houses have been burnt at Amangwu Ohafia community. They said that members of ESN were using the houses as their hideout; that I can’t validate. You need to call anyone from Amangwu to validate such claims. But what I can tell you right now is that Ohafia is on fire,” said the source.
The source who disclosed that they later started hearing heavy gunfire in their village in the early hours of Friday, confirmed the burning of people’s houses, arrest and indiscriminate harassment of indigenes of their community the soldiers.