Three persons died in Ukwa West local government area of Abia State when youths of the area protested the killing of their kinsman by suspected herdsmen’.
Sources said residents of the area are living in fear over the possible arrest of innocent citizens by police and other security agencies.
Some sources said that the reported killing of a 36-year-old Israel Nwaobilor, a tipper driver, who hails from Umuorie community in Ukwa West LGA sparked the killing of two other persons.
Those who died were said to be wheelbarrow petty trader and commercial motorcyclist whose identities were yet to be confirmed.
They reportedly died when caught in the web of a protest by youths of Umuorie community which went violent.
Nwaobilor was said to have gone to load sharp sand in his tipper to supply one of his clients when he was reportedly abducted by some persons and found dead in the bush some days.
A source in Ukwa West that spoke anonymously with our correspondent said: “I learnt the late Isreal Nwaobilor had gone to load sand in his tipper when he was abducted by some gunmen said to be herdsmen.
“It was gathered that there was no official report at the police in charge of the area over the missing of Obilor.
“His killing which happened on the 18th of June was said to have happened a few weeks after a woman was kidnapped and killed by suspected herdsmen.
“According to the report, a search was conducted and his corpse was not found. His body was said to have been found in the bush days later by some persons who later reported the matter to the police.
“But before police could get to the scene, the youths had gone to evacuate the body of the deceased from the location.
“The youths upon discovery of the body of the young man took his body to the street to protest his killing.
“The protest however turned violent as the youths started destroying properties.
“The youths were said to have taken the corpse to the residence of the DPO where they tried to force themselves into the compound but when they were resisted. They took to the streets and went violent.
“They started attacking any Hausa man and woman that they sighted and when they saw one Hausa man selling things with his wheelbarrow, they pounced on him
“They thought the other man was a police officer, not knowing that he was just an innocent commercial motorcyclist.
“It was at the point where the police could not handle the situation that they invited soldiers from the 144 Battalion who waded into the matter to stop the youths from causing further damage in the community.”
Reports said many residents had left the community though calm is gradually returning to the area.
Abia Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Geoffrey Ogbonna said the corpse of Nwaobilor was found in the bush by hunters.
“Angry mob went on rampage carrying the corpse of the deceased driver to the Police Station.
“After being addressed and dispersed, they mobilised to the major road where they intercepted a herder and a motorcyclist who they eventually vexed their anger on leading to loss of lives.
“Corpses of the driver and cyclist were deposited in the morgue while that of the herder was released to his relations on demand for burial.”