The Abia State government has condemned the circumstances which led to the military invasion of Amangwu, Ohafia community in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, saying it is sympathetic to living as refugees in a non-war situation.
Soldiers of 14 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Ohafia invaded Amangwu community on November 2, over the alleged missing of an army Staff Sergeant and have remained in the area to date, forcing natives to become Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps in adjoining communities.
The Deputy Governor of the State, Ude Oko Chukwu, made the condemnation while addressing displaced people of Amangwu Ohafia being sheltered at the Okpocha square by the people of Amaekpu Ohafia.
Oko Chukwu reiterated the state government’s commitment to ensuring that the lives and property of her citizens were adequately protected.
While appealing to the people to forgive what had happened, Oko Chukwu enjoined them to be law abiding and allow peace to reign as to bring back the past glory of the community.
He urged the people to heed the appeal by the Army Commander at Ohafia, who he said has reassured the government that normalcy has been restored in Amangwu, and relocated to their community.
He condoled them over the loss of lives and property during the confrontation and assured that Government will do all it could to ameliorate their sufferings
The deputy governor commends the traditional ruler of Amaekpu Community, Ezieogo Uduma Obuba Kalu, the entire Amaekpu community as well as the sister communities of Elu and Ebem Ohafia for taking care of their displaced relatives.
Oko Chukwu later presented cash and other items to the displaced persons.
The traditional ruler of the area, while decrying the security issues that led to the confrontation, however, thanked the state government for coming to their aid.
Some women from Amangwu who spoke to Daily Sun said with the situation of things on the ground, it will not be possible for them to go back to their homes.
“Government has asked us to go back to our homes, but how do we do that when the soldiers are still everywhere in Amangwu?
“We cannot go back to Amangwu and leave behind our husbands and grown-up male children, most of whom we learnt have been declared wanted by the army”, said a distraught woman from the community.
Over 10 persons were alleged to have been killed and 50 houses reportedly burnt during the invasion.