A mentally ill man from Onyikwa community of Ebonyi Local Government Area in of Ebonyi, has killed his wife, two children and four other members of the community, the police say.
ASP Loveth Odah, the Police Public Relations Officer, told newsmen on Tuesday in Abakaliki that the incident was reported to the police on Monday at 2.p.m. She appealed for information from the public that could lead to his arrest.
Odah said the councillor, representing the community, Mr Friday Nwigube, reported to the police that a mentally sick man, Simon Ugbala, was attacking some members of the community with a machete.
“A combined team of detectives rushed to the community where they found several persons with deep machete cuts and rushed them to the Federal Teaching Hospital , Abakaliki (FETHA).
“Seven of them were confirmed dead on arrival at the hospital while four are in critical conditions,” she said.
The Police spokesperson noted that detectives and youths from the community were searching for the suspect and solicited for useful information on his whereabouts from the public.
“The incident reminds us of a similar one at Ishielu LGA where an insane woman killed a fellow woman and burnt houses in the community.
“Cases of insanity are not one person’s business as communities should send such persons away from their areas, possibly to psychiatric facilities for adequate care,” she said.
Onah said one man should not be allowed to kill such number of persons and put others in critical conditions. She described the development as ‘unfortunate’.
“The police cannot completely eradicate crime in the society but can only strive to reduce it. “Are people not informed enough to know that such people should be taken away from the communities?
“A councillor came to report the matter to the police but do members of that community not know that the suspect behaves as such before he committed the heinous act?
“Ebonyi people should not allow such acts to be committed in the state and though it has the lowest crime rate in the zone, the rate of murder is high,” she said.
Dr Emeka Ogah, the Chief Medical Director of FETHA, confirmed that the dead were deposited at the hospital’s morgue and that the wounded were receiving treatment.
A member of the community, who pleaded anonymity, said the development sent shock around the community.
“The problem is that my people treat cases of insanity as personal concerns but the disastrous effects extend to other members of the community.
“We pray that such incident does not occur in the community again and wish that the people would approach cases of insanity and related issues as communal problems or challenges,” he said.