Unknown gunmen on Friday morning attacked Ebebe Junction in Abakaliki metropolis, Ebonyi State.
Newsbreak.ng learnt that the armed men from a yet to be identified dissident group in South-East were enforcing a two-day ‘phantom’ sit-at-home order.
The attackers who struck the area at about 6:20 a.m on Friday set a vehicle ablaze while a motorcycle operator escaped death by whiskers.
Anayo Chukwuemeka, a resident of the area who spoke to the newsmen said that the attackers fired several gunshots that got residents panicking and scampering for safety.
“It happened in a flash. But, when the gunshots died down and we came out, we saw that a vehicle has been burnt beyond recognition.
“The driver of the vehicle who managed to escape told us that the gunmen said they are enforcing the sit-at-home declared in protest of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Ebonyi.
“A motorcycle operator who also escaped the attackers gunshots told us that they fired at him but he miraculously dodged the bullets,” Chukwuemeka said.
Also, Mr Simon Onwe, a shop owner in the area told NAN that the attackers came in a vehicle without a number plate shot sporadically in the air and immediately fled.
“I was still inside my shop because I slept there; I heard the gunshots but I discovered later that they left a vehicle burnt beyond recognition while a motorcycle operator told us that he narrowly escaped their bullets.
“It’s so unfortunate that we witnessed such an ugly incident in this area that is usually very peaceful and spralling with business activities especially at evening periods,” he said.
Meanwhile, a combined team of men of the Nigeria Police and the Ebubeagu Eastern Security Outfit, Ebonyi Command have condoned off the area.
Loveth Odah, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ebonyi command when contacted for reaction said that the she was yet to get a report of the incident.
“I’m just getting the information from you; I’m not aware of the attack,” Odah said.
IPOB Denies Declaring Sit-At-Home In South-East
Meanwhile, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), a separatist group agitating for the independent state of Biafra has denied declaring a sit-at-home in South-East.
IPOB’s media spokesperson, Emma Powerful in a statement made available to newsmen emphasized that the group has not declared any sit-at-home.
“IPOB did not issue any sit-at-home order, if there is such an order, you must be in the know, so whatever order anybody is issuing against Buhari’s visit to Ebonyi State is not coming from IPOB which I am the spokesman, it is the handiwork of Police, Army and DSS and their agents they use to work against us, shame on them.” Emma Powerful said.