By Vincent Ujumadu – Awka
IT was a harrowing experience for a driver with Vanguard Newspapers, Mr Lawrence Ofiong, as some hoodlums who allegedly attacked some police stations in Anambra State forced him to carry their two dead colleagues to a mortuary located in a remote village in the state where the dead bodies were deposited.
Offiong had delivered the weekend newspapers for the states in the South-South geopolitical zone and was heading back to Asaba, Delta State when he came in contact with a group of boys at Oraifite in Ekwusigo local government area along the Owerri-Onitsha expressway in Anambra State.
Narrating his ordeal to Vanguard, Offiong said it was a terrible experience for him, adding that it was by the grace of God that he came out alive to tell the story after his encounter with the hoodlums.
On the day of the incident, some hoodlums protesting in the guise of #endSARS had attacked five police stations in parts of Anambra South senatorial zone and killed the Divisional Police Officer for Osumenyi in Nnewi South local government area and another police officer in the station.
Police said six of the hoodlums had been arrested and would face the full weight of the law for burning down police stations.
Offiong, who must have come in contact with some of the hoodlums said: “As I was driving back to Asaba after delivery of papers in the South-South, I met some boys at Oraifite Police Station in Anambra State and though it was the normal #EndSARS protest because I had passed about two of such groups at Okija and Ozubulu. They stopped me and said I should give them something so I could pass and I did and they allowed me to pass.
“When I met this third group, I thought it was going to be like the previous groups I passed. But as I approached them, one of them jumped in front of the vehicle and demanded to know who I was. Another one used the machete he was holding to hit on the car bonnet, while another one hit the windscreen. They broke the front and the rear screens of my car.
“They dragged me out of the car and hit me with the machete, but as God would have it, the machete did not penetrate.
“They threatened to kill me because they claimed the police just killed two of their colleagues. Many of them wore charms and one of them who wore a tortoise on his neck rushed to the ones harassing me and ordered them not to harm me because I did not commit any offence.
“Another one asked me to identify myself and I told them I am a driver with Vanguard newspapers and that I am a youth like them. Though the opinion of some of them was that I should be allowed to go, one of them ordered that I should use my vehicle to carry their dead colleagues who were killed by the police.
“They put the two dead bodies in my car and three of them jumped in and ordered me to be following another vehicle in front. The one sitting in front of my car was the person directing where we were going to, while one Keke, tricycle, filled with the boys were following me behind.
“Initially I thought they were going to a hospital, but they directed me to a remote area very far from the expressway. As we entered one building which turned out to be a mortuary, they closed the gate behind me and brought down the corpses.
“I then asked for water to clean the heavy bloodstains in my car, but one of them asked me to drive out of the place because it was dangerous for me to stay with them for a long time. As I drove a little distance, I knew it was an opportunity for me to leave the place and I zoomed off until I came out of the Onitsha –Owerri expressway again and then headed to Asaba. I thank God that I am alive to narrate this story.”
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