By Ikeugonna Eleke
Nsugbe Community in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State, has reacted to allegations on social media which indicted its son, Senator Alphonsus Igbeke, of using eight children in the community for ritual.
The community, at a meeting it held last Tuesday, rose in defence of its son, warning that they would not take it lightly with anyone who linked him to the missing children.
Eight persons who were allegedly caught for nefarious activities in Nsugbe in 2002 were said to have been handed over to the police, but a recent social media post accused Igbeke who hails from the community of using them for ritual.
But the people of the area during their meeting, Tuesday, said they would likely go ‘spiritual’ to unravel those behind such action against their son and take any action they deemed fit
According to 78 year old Sir Augustine Mgbataogu, who was the Acting President General of the community then, it was a ploy to tarnish the image of their son.
He said, ‘I was called upon when this thing happened. They brought them at the village square led by one Obi Gika Anaekwe. Unfortunately he is late now. I wish he were still alive to testify to what I am saying.
‘So, Gika Anaekwe led Nsugbe people to these children. Unanimously Nsugbe said that they would have no hand in it; that they should hand them over to the police.
‘These children were handed over to the police. This happened about 20 years ago. The police were there. These children are grown ups, not kids.
‘Their parents existed. It should be their duty to have asked after their children, not mine. Did I ask them to go about stealing; shooting people?’
For Ifeanyi Tabugbo, the spokesperson for Ifite Quarter, Nsugbe, those people were terrors in the community.
‘I was coming from Onitsha to Nsugbe. We were four in the bus. Police had a checkpoint on a section of that road. So, when we were approaching, the people on that road were flashing their torchlight.
‘I told the driver to slow down; that they were policemen. So, when we got where they were, somebody came out from a gmelina tree and pointed it at us to my surprise.
‘He fired gunshots and we zoomed off. While we were running, I noticed that blood was dripping from my backside. I had been shot. The driver said that bullet hit him on the leg.
‘I went to the police station in our community and reported the matter. I was later taken to the hospital.
‘This happened around 8pm. From there, I was taken to a hospital in Onitsha were I was given treatment for three months until I returned to Lagos. Anyone trying to link our son to the missing persons in Nsugbe is mischievous,’ he said.
When contacted on the phone, Senator Obi Igbeke said those behind such action were perceived political enemies.
‘They think I’m interested in any political office. Their aim is just to tarnish the image that took me many years to build. They think of another thing.
‘I’ve served this country as a member of House of Representatives. I’ve also served as Senator representing Anambra North and many others, including Nigeria’s Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary. Their attempt is in vain,’ Igbeke said