The Governorship Candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC in Abia State, Bishop Dr. Sunday Ndukwo Onuoha has called for maintenance of peace and calmness between the 14 Brigade Nigeria Army Ohafia, and their host community.
The 2013 Global Peace Award Winner, in a press release issued to newsmen in Umuahia, said total peace, and upholding the values of our shared humanity should be the paramount focus in mediating the crisis that erupted between the 14th Brigade Nigeria Army, the Ebem-Ohafia Community, as well as the entire local government area.
Bishop Onuoha, whose immediate reaction when the news broke out, was to reach out to relevant authorities to wade into the matter in order to forestall further escalation; in commiserating with the families that lost their loved ones during the fracas, called on Abia State government, authorities of the Nigerian Army, Ohafia leaders and community influencers to constitute an honest, powerful committee that will understand the dynamics of this incident, prevent a reoccurrence and strategize on ways to manage the relationship between the Brigade Army base and the hosting community.
According to him, the committee should take further steps to make sure that soldiers carrying arms do not oppress or intimidate civilians; while on the other hand, “residents of Ohafia should have a trusted and unbiased channel of reporting any form of molestation to the military authority”.
Recall that report on Wednesday August 18th said a yet-to-be identified soldier was killed by gunmen during a shootout with Nigerian troops from the Brigade Army base, at about 5:00 pm, near a motor-park in Ebem community of Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria’s South-east.
The slain soldier, serving at the 14 Brigade Headquarters of Goodluck Jonathan Barracks in the council area, was said to have gone into the community on a motorcycle to buy provisions when the gunmen attacked him.
Sources said the soldier sent a signal to the Brigade when he noticed that the gunmen were trailing him, prompting military authorities in the Brigade to deploy troops for a rescue mission; consequent upon which 2 men and a young lady were killed.
The 2023 Abia ADC Guber Candidate however, condemned in strong terms people taking laws into their hands and further advised that all parties should heed to the recommendations by different leaders who have stepped in to quell the unfortunate incident and ensure lasting peace.