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Confusion as policeman opened fire at Ohanaeze NEC meeting

By The Rainbow
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There was panic on Friday at the Enugu Park Avenue National Secretariat of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisa­tion, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as a policeman attached to one of the leaders opened fire at the beginning of the National Execu­tive Committee (NEC) meeting of the group.

The gunshot was said to have jolted the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Gary Enwo Igariwey; the Secretary General, Dr. Joe Nworgu and other leaders of the organisation who had gathered for the meeting.

But when contacted on phone, Dr. Nworgu denied that there was shooting at the secretariat.

But it was reliably gathered that as the NEC meeting was about to commence two factions of the Ohanaeze Youth Wing (OYC), the youth arm of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, who had raised questions over the han­dling of funds at the just organised Igbo Unity Forum in Owerri, Imo State, dis­agreed.

Trouble actualy started when the National Publicity Secretary of the youth wing, Obinna Adibe, who belongs to the Arthur Okafor faction, came with some policemen from the Enugu Area Command to arrest one of the youth leaders, Alex Okemiri.

Adibe had earlier in a petition to the Enugu Area Command also accused Okemiri, who belongs to the faction of the National President, Ikechukwu Isiguzoro, of using his name without his permission to send out text messages for meetings.

While the policemen from the Area Command who were in plain clothes were trying to drag Okemiri into a wait­ing vehicle, the Deputy Presi­dent of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Hon. Ugochukwu Onyema, was said to have allegedly in­structed a policeman attached to him to stop Okemiri's ar­rest.

Consequently, the mo­bile policeman was alleged to have shut the gates of the secretariat, raised his rifle and fired into the air, thereby caus­ing panic at the secretariat.

The Ohanaeze President General who was said to be ruffled by the gunshot started appealing for calm between the warring factions of the youth wing.

An eyewitness said Ig­ariwey pleaded with Adibe to tell the plain-clothe po­licemen with him to leave Okemiri and allow him to use internal mechanism of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to resolve the matter. The pleadings were heeded.

-Emmanuel Ikechukwu