Palpable tension and fear gripped residents of Nsukka town in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, Saturday, following the shooting of the chairman, Ogige Market Traders Association Nsukka, OMATAN, Dr Ngozi Ozioko, by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.
The chairman was said to have closed from the Ogige Market after the day’s trading when gunmen trailed her to her residence and shot her at a close range.
Though she survived the assassination attempt by the whiskers, a bullet from the hoodlums caught her on the leg when she hit the gun which one of the assailants pointed to her chest.
She said, “I closed from the market yesterday and drove to my house. On reaching my house, I packed and opened my car door and two persons on a motorbike stopped close to me and one said ‘Mama Gee’, as I was fondly called, you think it is your birthright to be chairman of Ogige Market? While saying that, he pointed a pistol at my chest. I shouted Jesus and hit down his gun and the bullet went off and got my leg. He picked the gun and immediately jumped on a waiting motorcycle and they fled.”
It was gathered that she was re-elected into office for her second tenure last week. Confirming the incident, the spokesperson of Enugu State Police Command, Daniel Ndukwe, said the command was alerted on the incident by the Nsukka Urban Police Division.
“This happened on the 26th of this month at about 7:30 pm when three armed hoodlums approached the chairman of OMATAN, Ngozi Ozioko, while she was parking her vehicle in front of her house and shot her on the leg.
“It is basically a case of attempted murder and the Commissioner of Police has directed a full-scale investigation to unravel whoever the assailants are and bring them to book,” the Police media boss narrated.
Meanwhile, residents who spoke with News Echo correspondent expressed shock at the development.
According to Felix Ugwuanyi, “It is strange that people would consider taking another’s life just because of a tussle for the seat of chairman of marketers association. The other time it was the kidnapping of Ikpa market chairman who was later released, this time, it is an assassination attempt.
Also, while praying for her quick recovery, another resident, Mr Emeka Obetta said Nsukka is not known for dastardly acts like what happened to the chairman, adding that the perpetrators will soon be fished out by God’s grace.