AWKA—THERE is a looming battle in the commercial city of Onitsha in Anambra State as members of the authorized Association of Anambra State Park Agents and motor park touts, popularly known as Agbero, appear set to confront each other over the control of numerous parks in the town.
A recent confrontation at the popular Upper Iweka Park left two persons dead and several others injured, with the attendant disruption of free flow of traffic in the area.
Chairman of Association of Park Agents in Onitsha, Chief Albert Ibekwe, and his secretary, Mr. Emeka Nwajiobi, while raising alarm of an impending confrontation in the parks last weekend, regretted activities of the hoodlums who allegedly had been attacking motor parks and nearby residents, injuring and looting passengers’ goods.
According to them, some of the youths, who claim to be representing some towns, also boasted that they have the backing of some powerful politicians in the state.
They warned that if nothing was done immediately to checkmate the touts, the authorized park agents would collaborate with the residents and passengers to deal decisively with them.
They specifically claimed that some youths from Obosi and Ogbaru allegedly invaded Central and Aba parks last week armed with dangerous weapons, including AK 47, and attempted to take over the parks by ordering all the workers and passengers to leave, while they were shooting sporadically in the air.
The association said: “Aba Park and Central Park in Onitsha are managed by our members who make monthly payment to Anambra State government. But early last week, some Ogbaru youths stormed Aba Park with dangerous weapons and tried to dislodge some other boys who were genuinely contracted by our members to carry out their daily business at the parks.
“In the process, two persons were shot by yet to be identified gunmen among the youths who stormed the park in a commando style, demanding to take control of the parks.
“We wish to beg our dear Governor Peter Obi to please come to our aid with a view to stopping these Ogbaru and Obosi youths.
“If two persons could be killed in one day and the perpetrators are not brought to book, they may be emboldened to carry out more attacks.”
They warned politicians against creating unnecessary tension in the state by arming youths, especially at a period the state was seriously preparing for governorship election.