Nonsochukwu Uwa, Owerri
Gunmen, Tuesday, struck in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State, at a popular Ogbaku market located along Owerri/Onitsha Road, killing a motorcyclist, whose identity is yet-to-be known,
This came a few hours after the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Usman Baba, landed in Imo State to commission Armoured Personnel Carriers, APC, donated by the state government under Governor Hope Uzodimma to improve the security of lives and property in the state.
An eyewitness who spoke to Ikengaonline said the incident happened in the morning hours.
He could not say exactly the reason the motorcyclist was killed but he confirmed that the young man was singled out from the group of his fellow motorcyclist as they were waiting for passengers and he was shot three times after a heated argument with the gunmen who tried to pull him (victim) into their vehicle.
The eyewitness who said he would not want his name mentioned said: “The gunmen drove quietly to the Ogbaku market where motorcyclists use as their park. They jumped down and went straight to where their target was, and they started dragging the man from his motorcycle.
“The man refused and asked them to explain to him what he has done wrong that they wanted to force him into their vehicle. The gunmen continued to drag him.
“It got to a point it seemed the gunmen were unable to pull him (victim) into their vehicle then they shot him three times and drove away.”
This lead to market men and women, and shop owners all abandoning their business environment to take cover.
The Ogbaku market became a ghost town for about an hour according to market sources.
The panic spread to neighbouring communities as residents hurried to safety.
It affected motorists plying through the Owerri-Onitsha Road as some bus drivers were forced to stop and park their vehicles until the situation became calm.
As at the time of filing this report, the community leaders of Ogbaku had reported the matter to the Ogbaku police station and the body of the victim was said to have been evacuated.