Motorists, commuters decry roadblocks in Owerri
Residents of Imo State, especially those within Owerri metropolis, have called on Governor Hope Uzodimma to call the soldiers deployed at strategic places in the state to order.
Within the last seven days, soldiers deployed to provide security at Douglas House, Owerri, and checkpoints in the city have reportedly shot about three innocent residents to dead.
The residents, motorists and commuters told The Guardian yesterday that people were living in fear over “the new wave of random senseless shootings.”
They also complained of heavy traffic in the city due to roadblocks by the military, especially around the ever-busy Okigwe Road roundabout. The Guardian gathered that about 10 p.m. on Sunday, April 25, a first year student of the Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri, Divine Nwaneri, was shot dead in the capital city, near the Government House. Two days later, a pig farmer was also shot dead by persons suspected to be soldiers. His car crashed into the Christmas Garden (Old Library) and his pigs were left there hapless.
On Friday, April 30, another shooting occurred at Amakohia flyover checkpoint, taking the life of popular Sharwama producer, Noel Chigbu. The Guardian gathered that the shooter accused the deceased of violating checkpoint rules; hence he released hot lead into his body.
Also, penultimate Monday, a 300 level Law student of IMSU was said to have been shot around the Ama Hausa area of the city. He is said to be a victim of exchange of gunfire that day. He reportedly told his friends that he was visiting his people in the World Bank axis to collect some money from them before he fell into the bullet. After he was declared missing, his body was later found in a morgue in Owerri.
An Owerri resident, Nnamdi Nwosu, urged the governor to work towards withdrawing the soldiers from the streets of Owerri, stressing that there was no war situation experienced in the state, bemoaning the killings allegedly perpetrated by the soldiers and other security operatives.
He said: “Our Governor, Hope Uzodimma, should work towards immediate withdrawal of the soldiers from the roads in Owerri. Due to the number of deaths so far linked to them, everybody is living in fear. We cannot live like this. We are not in a war situation.”