By Ikeugonna Eleke
Unidentified gunmen, Saturday evening, January 15, invaded a burial ceremony in Ezinifitte, Nnewi South Local Government Area, causing panic, while mourners and other invited guests fled.
A guest who was at the burial said the event ended abruptly after the men invaded the area, causing attendees and the mourners too flee into the bushes for fear of their life.
The source who spoke to Fides exclusively said the gunmen allegedly stormed the burial ceremony, when they learnt that the chief mourner, a very influential man in the area, who was holding a burial for his younger sister, decided to bring in police men and operatives of the DSS to provide security while the burial lasted.
It was gathered that some elements in the area had stated openly that they would not tolerate security officials in their area.
The source said, ‘When information got to them (gunmen) that someone brought security men to the town, they mobilized themselves in seven Sienna vehicles and started shooting anyhow.
‘The man who was burying his sister and the security agents escaped. The men stayed there and shot for a very long time, and all the people who came for the burial ran for their lives, some entered into the bush and others ran into a nearby compound.
‘They smashed all the cars in the compound and took some away after they had set the house ablaze, but thank God the house did not totally burn as people came and quenched the fire when they had left.
‘Many people who escaped into the bush slept there and only came out in the morning. I and many other people ran into a nearby compound and they brought us out and told us they were not after us, but politicians and those who brought security to the area and the security men too.
‘If you see these people, they were very well armed. I almost thought I had died. I started crying for my mother, just imagining how my corpse would be taken to her. To the glory of God, nobody was killed and no one was injured,’ the source stated.
Attempts to get a reaction from the Anambra State Police Command spokesperson, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, yielded little fruit as he said he was still preparing a press statement in that regard.
As at the time of filing this report, the press statement confirming or debunking the incident was yet to be made available to Fides.