ONITSHA — No fewer than four persons were feared dead, yesterday, while 10 others sustained various degrees of injury when two rival youth groups suspected to have come from Ogbaru Area Council of Anambra State engaged themselves in a bloody clash.
The face-off, according to the source, was over the control and ownership of a motor park known as Aba Park located in the heart of Upper Iweka in the commercial city of Onitsha, along the ever-busy Onitsha-Owerri Road.
Also, property worth millions of naira, including vehicles and shops, were reportedly damaged during the clash which resulted in traders at the Ogbaru Relief Market shutting their shops to protect their lives and wares.
Trouble was said to have started when one of the warring factions allegedly stormed the park early in the morning to forcefully take over its control.
On arrival, the source stated, the other faction attempted to bar their rival from entering the park but in an apparent move to force themselves in, both factions clashed.
While the clash lasted, during which machetes and other dangerous weapons were freely used. Those that died were said to have had their skulls ripped opened.
Confirming the incident, yesterday, in a telephone chat,Police Area Commander for Onitsha, Benjamin Wordu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police put the casualty at only two while the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) said he was aware of only one casualty, adding that the police were already on top of the situation.
Reacting to the bloody clash, the Association of Igbo Youths Organisation, AIYO, warned that it would no longer tolerate incessant clandestine activities of militant youths from Onitsha and its environs.
Sounding the note of warning, the AIYO State Coordinator, Mr. Chukwuemeka Omeinyi Oga, added that the Igbo race would not continue to engage in wanton destruction when other tribes are developing their areas.
On the alleged discovery of flags with insignia of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) littered the scene of the clash, MASSOB’s National Director of Information, Comrade Uchenna Madu, dissociated MASSOB from the incident.