Governor steps in as Military personnel razed down homes, properties
Angered by the killing of their colleagues by suspected oil thieves, soldiers of the 144 Battalion, Asa, in Ukwa West Council of Abia State, laid siege to Owaza community and set many houses and shops on fire.
According to sources, some suspected oil thieves had recently killed two soldiers, burnt their vans and escaped with their rifles at a location between Owaza and Obibor communities.
The newspaper reported that the suspected oil thieves had attacked the soldiers for guarding and preventing them from accessing the oil pipelines in enforcement of the ban placed on oil bunkering by the River State government.
But in apparent retaliation of their colleagues’ death, the 144 Battalion soldiers recently stormed the Owaza and all the neighbouring areas of Obuzor Asa, Umudobia to Obehie, Uzuaku, Okohia to Owaza, razing many structures and wrecking havoc on the residents of the communities.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer, 14 Brigade, Ohafia, Prince Omale, said he was yet to be briefed on the incident, but a military official in the state said investigation has commenced into the incident.
In his reaction to the incident, the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has convened a meeting of stakeholders from the Ukwa West LGA and urged parties to give peace a chance and allow the state government to resolve the matter.