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Dozens injured, property destroyed as gunmen attack Kogi community

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Gunmen have attacked Ewune-Egume village in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, injuring dozens and destroying property worth millions of naira.

An eyewitness who craved anonymity told our correspondent that a group of young men stormed the community in trucks, tippers on Saturday and started shooting sporadically, causing chaos which led to the entire villagers abandoning their property and running to the bush for safety.

It was gathered that on hearing gunshots, the beaded chief of the community, the Ochai Onu-Egume, Chief Olema Akpali, fainted and was hospitalised in one of the clinics in the area.

Our correspondent who visited the community reported that some household appliances, water tanks and houses were destroyed even as the arsonists drank all the beers and beverages in some restaurants and destroyed empty bottles.

The community leader, Mr Matthew Audu, said the gunmen invaded the community in five trucks with AK 47 rifles, went away with some domestic animals, 200 Jericans of palm oil, 13 motorcycles and set ablaze other motorcycles while other valuable properties were destroyed.

Audu said that people of the community had reported several threats by this group to the Divisional Police Office Egume and their incessant invasions on Ewune farms.

He added that the attackers were suspected to be a group of saw millers working for an Ejule man in Ofu LGA, Kogi State.

He said when the alleged saw millers of Ejule were confronted over the wanton and indiscriminate felling of their Iroko and economic trees, they allegedly claimed that the government of Governor Yahaya Bello was aware of their activities in the forest.

It was also gathered that these groups of people has been invading the community at will, drinking beer in their restaurants freely, killing their domestic animals whenever they were hungry and leaving the community unchallenged.

Some members of the community suspected that the posting on Facebook of the recent invasion of this group who were on a free drink at a restaurant in the community, that went viral on social media may have been responsible for this attack.

In his reaction, the chairman of the security committee of Egume Community, Hon. Gowon Omale condemned the destruction at the Ewune-Egume community, describing it as a terrorist act.

He said efforts must be intensified to forward the matter to the Authority concerned to avoid future occurrences.

The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP William Ayah, confirmed the weekend attack on the community, with one person shot and presently receiving attention.

The PPRO said the police are working assiduously to arrest the perpetrators of the dastardly act, assured calm has since returned to the community

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