Ọdeshi Drama in Awka, As Gunmen Shoot Down Popular Keke Union Leader

Jun 12, 2021 - 22:22
Jun 13, 2021 - 15:33
Ọdeshi Drama in Awka, As Gunmen Shoot Down Popular Keke Union Leader

By Izunna Okafor, Awka

What could be better described as a dramatic assassination recently played out at the popular Unizik Junction of Awka, the Anambra State capital, as unknown gunmen literally gunned down a popular and top-ranking Keke Union leader in the state.

The highly influential tricycle union leader popularly known as Prince was said to have been taken unawares by his well-organised, blood-thirsty assailants, suspected to be members of a deadly cult group.

According to eyewitnesses, the assailants, suspected to had been alerted by a trusted fellow, arrived the Unizik Keke park with tinted-glassed Toyota Sienna vehicle; and on sighting their target, Prince at the front the garage, they immediately opened fire on him. As the first gunshot sounded, all the traders, hawkers, and tricyclists around the park immediately took to their feet, and sprinted for safety. And the entire area became clear and deserted immediately, giving enough space for the drama.

The act surprisingly became more dramatic, as the fired bullets unhurtfully splashed on Prince and dropped on the floor, extolling the uncommon might of his Odeshi and its indomitability.

However, seeing his attackers advancing further towards him with more gunshots, he immediately took to his feet, but was hurriedly blocked and overpowered by the assailants, who fiercely axed him until blood gushed out. 

Sighting the blood, the men knew they had conquered his Odeshi; and they then drew back a little and opened fire on him again, which then successfully 'entered', as the defeated Prince bowed to their bullets, and gave up the ghost; while the men 'confirmed' him, and immediately jumped into their vehicles and zoomed off without any trace. 

No policeman, according to the eyewitnesses, was seen around the area, throughout the period of the attack, until the assassins finished executing their mission and left.

It was after then that people started drawing close to the scene with fear and shock, beholding the lifeless body of Prince on the ground.

According to a credible source, the slain Prince, who hailed from Ifitedunu in Dunukofia Local Government of Anambra State, was newly married and has three children, two of who are twins.

When interviewed on what could be the reason for the assassination, a tricycle operator who pleaded anonymity, described Prince as a just and peaceful man, and revealed that his assassination may be linked to Keke leadership tussle in Awka, as certain group is threatening to overthrow the incumbent leadership and take over the collection of toll from tricycle riders in the state capital.

He said, “Even the state government knows who these union leaders are, and they also know about the trouble between these rival factions.

“There is a big man who is in charge of collecting toll at bus stations in Awka, but the ones in charge of collecting tricycle toll want to upstage the ones collecting bus toll to add it to their revenue window.

“This tussle has been on for a while now, and you know that these Keke riders are mostly members of one cult or the other, so the tussle has taken the shape of cult rivalry.”

Some of the tricyclists called on the state government, the state's Commissioner for Transport, various security agencies and other relevant agencies to wade into the situation and intervene, to avoid more bloodshed, which seriously breeds insecurity in the capital city.

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Izunna Okafor Izunna Okafor is an award-winning Nigerian novelist, poet, journalist, essayist, editor, translator, publicist, Igbo language activist and administrator who hails from Ebenator in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria. He writes perfectly in English and Igbo languages, and has published several books in both languages. He has received over 25 awards, and has over 2000 articles published online, both nationally and internationally, cutting across creative writing and journalism. See his full profile at: https://9jabooks.com/profile/484