It was a black Saturday in Ugwuachara, Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi State, as suspected gunmen interrupted the ward congress of the All Progressive Congress (APC), killing two in the process and the election materials carted away.
Sunday Tribune gathered that apart from the scores of party members who sustained varying degrees of injury, the most pathetic case was that of a woman, whose left leg was completely shattered.
A competent source in the locality, who pleaded anonymity, told Sunday Tribune that some other person’s including the Ebubeagu Security personnel also sustained bullet injuries during the attack.
According to the source, “By 5pm I drove from police junction Ugwuachara through Tina Nweze Street to Ugwuachara Central School. On getting to Ugwuachara Central School, I saw a black Hiace bus with tinted glass and a saloon car. I didn’t pick the reg numbers because their plates were covered besides the multitude in the field participating in the APC ward congress. All of a sudden gunmen numbering about 10 emerged from the bus with AK47 rifles and gunfire ensued.
“There was chaos as I was caught in the melee. I managed to hit the Abakaliki Mile 4 Road and crossed to the other side. I backed somewhere and rushed to where I could get a clear picture of the scene. I saw gunmen suspected to be Ebubeagu operatives fleeing the scene while others started returning fire.
“At that point, the gunmen entered their vehicles and drove out while Ebubeagu entered their own vehicle and pursued them.
“Then some people who ran towards my side told me that two gunmen were brought down. When I emerged from my hiding place, I drove towards police junction trying to access my house but started hearing the sound of gunfire again along Tina Nweze street and people who were fleeing the street told me that Ebubeagu were confronting the unknown gunmen who fled through Haraca by Expressway.
“On my way home, I saw a woman lying in her pool of blood and when I asked onlookers, they told me that one of the people pursuing the gunmen hit a bike carrying the woman and her leg got shattered. I reversed my car and took her into my car and rushed her to AE-FETHA. When I got to the accident ward, I noticed the presence of Ebubeagu operatives and when I enquired I was informed that they rushed their colleagues who suffered bullet wounds from the incident”, the source narrated.
When Tribune Online visited the scene later in the evening, it was discovered that all shops in Ugwuachara had hurriedly shut down, including the Ugwuachara market known as night market was vacated because of the incident.
Meanwhile, efforts to reach the police spokesperson, DSP Loveth Odah, proved abortive as she did not answer the calls made to her mobile phone.