Ebonyi youths numbering over two hundred have arrested a gunrunner, one Dele Simon, who hails from Umuezeoka in Inikiri Benard of Effium Autonomous Community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
It was gathered that the youths after a tip-off laid siege at Nwezenyi, a border axis between Ebonyi and Cross River States, where the suspect brought the gun.
The suspect, who confessed to the crime, disclosed he was based in Onitsha in Anambra State before he was called by his relatives that the communal crisis which erupted in Effium had claimed the life of his brother. He also added that their houses were burnt.
According to him, he was sent by the Ezzas resident in Effium Community to procure the gun. He also mentioned one Ori Mkpuma, an Ezza man in Benue State who was also into gun-running.
He said, “My name is Dele Simon. I am from Ezza-Effium, precisely Inikiri Benard. I was arrested by the youths because I was carrying a gun and was caught with it.
“I was sent by the community to buy the gun. Among those who sent me, some of them are living in Benue State. The name of one of them is Ori Mkpuma.
“I am based in Onitsha and I was in Onitsha when I was called and told that there is a war in my village during which my brother was killed, my house was burnt, our houses were burnt and even that of my sister”, he said.
Receiving the suspect, the Commissioner for Internal Security Border Peace and Conflict Resolution, Hon. Stanley Okoro Emegha, who commended the Chairman’s efforts, regretted that should the crisis in the state increased, it would affect everybody.
“I want to commend the effort of the Chairman. The governor said this morning that it is only a few who are competent to handle this situation and that is what you have done now.
“I want to thank the youths. Your effort is commendable. If the insecurity in this country increases more than this, it will affect all of us. It is not about one person. This thing is doing nobody any good; we have to join hands and stop it now”, Okoro appealed.
Earlier, while presenting the suspected gunrunner to the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Internal Security Border Peace and Conflict Resolution, Hon. Paul Nwogha, the Chairman of Izzi Local Government Area, said over 200 were waiting for the suspect before he was eventually arrested.
“We started waiting for this guy since 9 am this morning. If you go to Nwezenyi, you will see over 200 boys waiting for people coming to buy arms from either Izzi or Cross River. What is surprising me is that I do not think we have one gun runner in Izzi Local Government Area.