By Christian Ogbonna
A pastor and a youth were killed on Sunday in Abakaliki during a fracas between youths, the police said on Monday.
Assistant Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Philip Levi, confirmed the incident and said peace had been restored in the area.
The pastor was hit by stray bullet while praying at his residence opposite the epicentre of the clash between the youths.
Residents said the unrest started on Sunday night when youths of Ebyia Upnuhu, Abakaliki Local Government Area went on rampage, burning houses in the area after a man in the community was beaten up and he died.
“The youths destroyed a hotel belonging to one Chukwudi Onyibe, Special Assistant to the Chairman of the local government on Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR).
“On arrival at the scene, security agents shot sporadically to disperse the irate youths but a stray bullet hit the pastor of a Pentecostal church who resides opposite the hotel,’’ an eyewitness said.
The Chairman of Abakaliki Local Government Council, Mr Emmanuel Nwangele, confirmed the incident and described it as unfortunate.
“I was about going to my village on Sunday night to calm the youths but somebody told me not to go; that it was better to go in the morning.
“After that, I was informed that somebody has died and that the youth were on rampage to the extent that they went to Bosco Guest House, but they were dispersed by the police.
“The Bosco, Chukwudi Onyibe, is my SA on IGR. Information reaching me says that the youths took Ebubeagu people to go and arrest somebody who stole something.
“On their way to the place, they had a clash with another person, who overtook their vehicle, and from there, they had some squabble and it was led by one soldier from our village.
“This was what I was told, I don’t even know anything about it,’’ he stated.