A huge problem occurred in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on Saturday, when a 10-year-old boy, Somtochukwu Ibeanusi, was allegedly shot dead by military men from the 34 Artillery Brigade.
The soldiers were deployed to maintain law and order during the forceful demolition of the Owerri Main Market, popularly known as Eke -Ukwu Owerri, by the state government.
Many others were hospitalised owing to injuries sustained when the soldiers allegedly open fire as youths protested against the demolition of the market.
The father of the deceased, Isaiah Ibeanusi, said the military men shot his son at the back of his head and that he died instantly.
Ibeanusi said the tragic incident occurred while he was trying to remove his goods during the demolition exercise, which was supervised by the army, police, Department of State Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Air Force.
He said, “While I was trying to remove my goods from the shop, I was alerted that my son had been shot by the Army.
“I quickly rushed to the scene but my son was already dead. He was shot in the back of his head. The soldiers that shot the bullet did not care, they quickly moved on.”
An eyewitness identified only as Chika, who claimed to have witnessed the shootings, said several others, including an old man and a youth leader, Leonard Ebubeagu, were injured during the raid while many goods were destroyed.
President General of the Owerri Community Assembly, Felix Ngoka, faulted Governor Rochas Okorocha for approving the demolition of the market because of a subsisting injunction restraining him from carrying out the exercise.
FMC Nurse said, “War rocks owerri town has demolition of eke onuwa market causes death of ten yr old boy and two others.Igbos declares wars over hausa..Saying hausas must go
What a world! What a country!, what a govt! I had an emergency case this morning, l rushed off to FMC owerri despite the clean up exercise. At FMC, as my patient was been attended to. The hospital turned into a military hospital where several people with bullet wounds were rushed in. Their stories- Army Men at around Ekeonuwaa Market by Douglas shot them. I was still trying to comprehend when a 10yr old boy was rushed in. The boy had left their house to go and assist his mother pack their wares. A bullet from a trigger happy Army man hit the boy. A good samaritan rushed the the boy but it was soooo late. An only son of a_ trying to survive family. Every one in Fmc this morning has cried out their eyes. Ohh God help your Children”