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Confusion, Tension as Man Sets 2 Family Houses Ablaze over Motorcycles

From Ignatius   Okpara

(AFRICAN  EXAMINER) – Umuoduku village in Oboama Autonomous Community, in Ezinihitte Mbaise council  Area of Imo State, South-East  Nigeria, was thrown into confusion and tension over the  weekend, as a grandfather and palm wine tapper, Mr. Richard Anochirionye, aka ”Okpoko,” sprayed his two family houses with fuel and set them on fire.

A native of the community who witnessed the incident told our correspondent that one of the buildings was a five-room bungalow while the other was a three-bedroom, adding that the entire compound had been deserted since the disaster occurred.

AFRICAN EXAMINER gathered that trouble began when the man’s sons secretly sold their father’s old motor-cycle for N30, 000 to a man in Ihitte, a neighbouring community to Oboama.

But few days after, the sons reportedly ambushed the buyer and snatched the motor-bike from him, allegedly making the man to lose both his money and the motor-bike.

Angered  by the action of Okpoko’s children, the motorcycle buyer stormed the man’s  house with some soldiers, and took away a different fairly new motorcycle from the compound , pending the time the children would return the old motor-bike they sold, and allegedly snatched from him.

It was further gathered that before the embattled wine tapper set the houses on fire, he went round the village announcing to whoever cared to listen that his children should return his two motor-bikes or else he would take an action that would make front-page news in the newspapers.

Said the Source: “He even contacted the village heads – the chiefs and Nzes – and threatened that if the children did not bring back his motor-bikes with which he goes about his palm wine business, he was going to take a very drastic action on them, an action that they would live to tell the story till the end of their lives,”

When the sons were not moved by their father’s threat, the old man went and bought 25 litres of fuel and waited patiently for the children including their mother to go to sleep before unleashing violence on them, according to the source, who craved anonymity for fear of uncertainty.

“But somehow, as fate would have it, the old man slept off that night till day break, when he realized that it was dawn, he quickly went and spread petrol on the buildings before setting it on fire. The wife managed to escape through the window.”

It was learnt that even one of the sons who attempted to prevent him from carrying out his mission, received a brutal knife cut on the head from his father who made sure that the fire gutted the houses.

After setting the houses ablaze, he took to his heels, the Source hinted.

As at the time of filing this report, no one was certain about Opkoko’s whereabouts. “He wanted to wipe out the entire family, including his wife, “said the source who added that the son with a knife cut was rushed to the Aboh Mbaise General Hospital.

The Imo State Police Command Public Relations Officer PPRO, Andrew Enwerem, when contacted, could not confirm nor deny the incident. saying, “What kind of confirmation or reaction do you want from me? Did he come to complain to the police after setting his houses ablaze” he asked.


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