By Edward Nnachi
Operatives of the Ebonyi Police Command has killed two hoodlums, who were allegedly enforcing sit-at-home, in the state.
Sit-at-home in the South-East is a brainchild of the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra to protest the continued detention of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The hoodlums were said to have shot sporadically into the air within the Okposi area in the Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, while trying to enforce a sit-at-home order, on Monday, when operatives of the command engaged them in a gun duel.
In a statement, on Tuesday, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, said men of the command gunned down one of the hoodlums, as the shootout ensued.
The statement read, “On 10/07/2023, at about 1350hrs, some armed men, suspected to be IPOB/ESN members, went to Okposi in Ohaozara LGA and started shooting sporadically into the air.
“The hoodlums engaged the policemen in a gun duel, which resulted in one of them being neutralised while the others escaped with varying degrees of bullet wounds.”
The police said they recovered one blue Highlander SUV “riddled with bullets”; one pump-action gun; five live cartridges; four handsets; one Sumec Fireman generator; charms; nine expended shell of AK-47 rifle ammunition, among others.
Meanwhile, the self-acclaimed leader of a splinter group of IPOB, Simon Ekpa, has declared 14 days of sit-at-home in the entire South-East.
He his declaration came barely 24 hours after the expiration of a seven-day lockdown declared by the same group, which led to killings and destruction of property across South-East.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ekpa said the imminent sit-at-home order, billed to commence from July 31 through August 14, 2023, was a consequence of the ‘earnest demand’ by southeasterners for a frequent lockdown in the zone.
According to him, the sit-at-home order was to draw the authorities’ attention to Kanu’s continued detention.
Ekpa further ordered oil and gas companies operating in the South-South zone to shut down their operations, within the period.