The tensed security situation in Orlu and environ which has been on for quite some time now, has assumed a more frightening dimension as no week passes without report of arson, shooting, killing, maiming and unlawful arrest of innocent people.
The latest incident which occurred on Saturday April 16, 2022 claimed the life of a popular Owerri based musician Roco and many others, feared dead. Others were said to have also sustained various degrees of injuries in the ensuing stampede.
Its was gathered from a reliable source that, “some people suspected to be bandits were seen at Nkwo Ito junction by vigilant residents who promptly alerted security operatives.
Few minutes later, a joint task force of the police and military personnel stormed Orlu and environ in a bid to flush out the unwanted elements. In the ensuing melee, there was sporadic exchange of gun fire from Saturday uptill the evening of Sunday April, 17, 2022.”
“As I speak to you now, areas like Orlu, Awo Idemilii, Ogberuru, Orsu Ihitteukwa etc have become no-go areas as most residents have deserted their homes and relocated to other places for safety, while some abandoned their vehicles and scampered for safety.”
The situation has become so bad that any person seen around the areas in question risk being shot dead as every person is assumed or suspected to be a bandit.
Among those who lost their lives in the clash between the military and operatives of Ebubeagu is an Owerri based musician Roco Nnadiekwe (Ja Rule) a 2007 graduate of Political Science from the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri.
The musician who was said to have returned to his home town from Port Harcourt Rivers State last week was supposed to shoot a video of his latest song hit in Owerri yesterday before his untimely death.
A popular musician in the state, Obinna Okoro, known as Acharaman who is a close friend of the deceased 38-year old entertainer comfirmed the incident to our correspondent.
Commenting on the death of his colleague, Okoro said, “Roco ( Ja Rule) was my brother and very good friend right from our days in the university. His dream was to be successful in life through his music. After our graduation, Roco went to Port Harcourt in search of the proverbial green pasture. He returned to music three years ago and we later recorded a song in which he featured me in his first hit sigle titled “Onye Na Way Ya”.
Roco returned home from Port Harcourt last week and said he was going to shoot the video of our song tomorrow being Monday.”
“The Nigerian army killed my homie Roco in his home town, Orlu. The irony is that Roco believed so much in Nigeria. Today, Nigeria has not only failed but also killed him in cold blood. This is hard to believe.”
Another musician, Uche “Roco (Ja rule} is my brother and friend since our university days. His dreams were to be successful in life through his music. After our graduation, Roco went to Portharcourt in search of his family’s betterment.“He returned to music three years ago and later we recorded a song which he featured me in his 1st single called “ONYE NA WAY YA”.
“Last week Roco returned home from Port Harcourt and said he was going to shoot the video of that our song by tomorrow being Monday.
“This afternoon the Nigerian army killed my homie Roco in his home town Orlu. Roco believes in Nigeria so much and today Nigeria has failed my friend. It’s hard to believe this.”
Another musician, Uche Ndum, popularly known as Tooblac, who is also a friend of the victim said “The Nigerian army has just killed my friend Roco two hours ago in Orlu. This is so disheartening. I lack words right now.”
Some residents of the area who spoke to our correspondent expressed dismay at the inability of the state government to come to effectively come to their rescue despite repeated failed assurances.
They wondered why Ebubeagu a security outfit established by Governor Hope Uzodinma to protect Imolites has suddenly become the peoples albatross, that kills, maims and renders them homeless and the government pretends not to be aware”.
The spokesperson for the police in the state, Michael Abattam, had yet to respond to an inquiry concerning the murder incident.