Nkwetacha Stantis Leku, teacher killed by gunmen during attack
By Andrew Nsoseka
The Mayor of Wabane Council, Nembo Ketu Israel, has, after the latest attack on his community by armed men suspected to be separatist fighters, called on the administration to set up at least a security post in the area, so as to counter and deter imminent attacks.
He told The Post that, instead of coming in after each attack to support those who incurred loses, efforts should rather be made to ensure that security is provided throughout the whole municipality that is in dire need of it, so that they can focus on bettering their lives, rather than living in perpetual fear of what could happen next when the attacks come again and make away with what the locals have toiled for.
Mayor Nembo narrated that the over 70 fighters who invaded the village came in through the Ashong and Pinyin border and attacked from Magha.
The Post spoke to the Mayor after the latest attack, which took place on Saturday, March 26, 2022, leading to the death of a teacher, and the kidnap of five other persons for ransom. The killed teacher, Nkwetacha Stantis Leku, is said to have been in his early 30s. The local who hails from Magha, and works in Noun came to village for a funeral ceremony. The Mayor said attackers, over 70 in number, overwhelmed the locals. The attackers reportedly took away 18 commercial motor bikes, huge sums of money, and five persons were whisked into their hideouts with demands for ransom from the families of those concerned.
“We have written and appealed several times to the powers that be, but we have never gotten a satisfactory answer. This is the fourth attack on our people, this would not have been the case if we had a security outpost in the area. We need a security post. We can buy or give back those things that have been taken away from the people, but it is no guarantee that that would not happen again. So what my people need most and they have been saying so over time is security. With security, they can work in peace and buy their bikes and continue with their business,” Mayor Nembo said.
He recounted that, during previous attacks, the people have often warded off and fought away the armed attackers, suspected to be a band of separatist fighters, but that this time around, they came in reinforced and in large numbers, and overpowered the locals. As such, they executed their mission and left without any resistance from the locals who were no match for the group.
The Mayor said, previously, they had provided locals with over a thousand whistles to blow whenever there is an attack for all to rally and push back. He regretted that this was not the case again, as the number of the gunmen overpowered them. He said the gunmen fired all through the time of the attack.
The Mayor said, with fertile soils, the locals in the area make brisk business from their farm yields, mainly potatoes and ginger and, as such, can very much be economically viable. He said the best gift to such a people would be security, to guarantee their protection so that they can produce at maximum and supply the several communities and markets around that need their products.
Mayor Nembo said he fears that, without security provided the locals and their property, the Municipality will continue to be a soft target for the attackers whenever they need bikes or money.