Gunmen on Friday May 6, burnt one vehicle and a motorcycle at Ebebe Junction in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi State.
A yet-to-be identified dissident group had earlier declared sit-at-home on May 5 and 6 in the South-East over the two-day visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Ebonyi.
Buhari, who is currently on a visit to the state inaugurated some projects constructed by Governor David Umahi. He also met with Igbo leaders and traditional rulers today.
It was gathered that the gunmen said to be enforcing the two-day sit-at-home struck around 6:20 a.m, set a vehicle and motorcycle ablaze while an operator escaped death by a whisker.
Mr Anayo Chukwuemeka, a resident of the area, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that the attackers fired several gunshots that got residents panicking and scampering for safety.
“It happened in a flash. But when the gunshots died down and we came out, we saw that a vehicle has been burnt beyond recognition. The driver of the vehicle, who managed to escape, told us that the gunmen said they are enforcing the sit-at-home declared in protest of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Ebonyi,” Mr Chukwuemeka said.
“A motorcycle operator, who also escaped the attackers’ gunshots, told us that they fired at him but he miraculously dodged the bullets,” he added.
Also, Mr Simon Onwe, a shop owner in the area, said that the attackers came in a vehicle without a number plate, shot sporadically in the air and immediately fled.
“I was still inside my shop because I slept there; I heard the gunshots but I discovered later that they left a vehicle burnt beyond recognition while a motorcycle operator told us that he narrowly escaped their bullets. It’s so unfortunate that we witnessed such an ugly incident in this area that is usually very peaceful and with business activities, especially in evening periods,” he said.
Meanwhile, a combined team of men of the Nigeria Police and the Ebubeagu Eastern Security Outfit, Ebonyi Command, have cordoned off the area.