One of the victims of the fateful Wednesday March 4th Rampage in Okigwe town of Imo State Miss Miracle Ukaeje a student of Abia State University is to be laid to rest today in her home town of Umuobiala in Isiukwuato LGA of Imo State.
In what happened to be one of the most controversial incident in the peaceful state of Imo ,as men on bike had unhindered access to Okigwe town environs shooting sporadically killing about 7 people and injuring 12 others.
Opinion was divided in the state over what actually transpired that night some indigenes of the town laid accusing fingers on herdsmen that was being spotted in some forests in the town with their cattle even though there seems to be no altercation between the residents and the herdsmen.
Others alleged that the mayhem could be a possible outcome of a cult war between the students of Abia State University in Uturu which is a bordering town to Okigwe.
The Imo State Governor, Senator. Hope Uzodinma and the Nigerian Police force in the Okigwe community blamed seemingly unknown bandits for the tragic incident and released statement of having one of them in the custody but three months after there is no definitive story on what actually transpired that night.
Nze. Chijioke Ekpunobi who was Special Adviser to former Governor Emeka Ihedioha on Security affairs for Okigwe political zone in the state who is also from the town where the incident happened shared his perspective to the situation then.
“The fact on ground is this incident is not an act of robbery as no goods or properties was stolen from the various attacks that took place on Okpara road , Elezue street, Umuchima road, Isiba lane and Owerri road (Baba Ghii joint) All in Okigwe town.
“It is not a cult war: The victims of the attack are mostly members of the streets local security men as most of the dead are members of the local street security , young girls, and old men, none are students except for one girl, so this discourage the assumption that its cult boys on the prowl because cultists target their rival cult members who are mostly young male students ,
‘’they coordinate their attack to hit their targets and don’t shoot sporadically and attack old men, girls and street security members unless those were trying to apprehend them which is not the case this time.’’ He explained to our reporter.
‘’Okigwe community is in no territorial dispute with any neighbouring town or community that will warrant such an attack and are in dispute with no one else except for herdsmen.’’ Nze. Ekpunobi who was also a former PDP Youth leader of the Okigwe Zone in the State reiterated.
Further contribution from other indigenes of the town affirmed Nze Ekpunobi’s position as Okigwe people were dismayed that the perpetrators of the heinous act were never challenged by any of security agencies in Okigwe.
The time perpetrators attacked the town, there are suppose to be security checkpoints but there was none, which is the normal modus operandi of suspected herdsmen attacks, security agencies are not always around, and their absence gives the free passage.
They unknown killers struck first on that Wednesday between 10 and 11:30pm, came back again around 2am to mop up victims and inflict more harm and cement psychological fear into the residents thereby completing their act of terror.
The family and survivors of Miss Miracle Ukaeje has released posters with their burial plan for their young daughter, and are fraught with the painful and sad reality that they may never get justice for her untimely murder.
3months after, the indigenes of Okigwe are still living on frayed nerves as uncertainties surrounding that incident has left them in bewilderment ,no concrete explanation from the police or state government on what transpired , and seemingly no hope of ever getting justice or even reparation for the loss of their fathers, sons and daughters.