Fear gripped residents of Afikpo town, in the Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on Tuesday following a letter allegedly written to banks in the community by armed robbers, notifying them of a planned visit to the community.
The police, army and other security agents in the state were said to have been mobilised to the town to repel the imminent attack.
Punch correspondent, who visited the area, saw police officers and soldiers in their operational vehicles stationed at strategic locations in the community, including the entry and exit points.
The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Afikpo North LGA, Mrs Amuche Otunta, could not confirm the letter as of the time of filing this report, but said, “All I know is that there is a security threat in my local government area”.
“Have you called the DPO? Who did the robbers address the letter to? Hear from the DPO; he is the chief security officer of the local government. You said a letter was written to the community by robbers; I don’t know the community that received it.
“But to that extent, I know there is a security threat, and I don’t know whether robbers wrote a letter or not,” she added.
The Ebonyi State Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs Loveth Odah, did not take her calls when our correspondent tried to reach her for confirmation.
However, a senior police officer in Afikpo, who spoke to Newsmen on condition of anonymity, confirmed the letter.
He said, “You saw how we have strategised based on the tip-off? They have not come yet. We have put our men on the alert in all the beaches; Ozizza beach, Ndibe beach, on the road, everywhere, including junctions. We are still on the ground even now and we are strategising; our men are everywhere in the town.”
A youth leader in the area, Eze Egwu, said the robbers wrote to the community.
He noted that police officers and soldiers had taken over the area.
Asked if community youths had formed a vigilante group to protect the area, Egwu said, “How can you be waiting for a well-armed man with sticks in the night or day in the name of security? We cannot risk our lives; it is only God that secures a city.”