Tensions Rise in Abia State Following Alleged Killing of Nigerian Crane Operator by Chinese Expatriate

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Abia State

A tense atmosphere prevails at the Inner Galaxy Steel Company in Umuahala-Obuzor Asa, Ukwa West council area of Abia State, following the death of a female crane operator, Ocheze Ogbonna.

Ogbonna, who hailed from the company’s host community, Umuahala Obuzor Asa, reportedly met her tragic end after being pushed from a crane by a Chinese manager at the steel factory. Witnesses claim she struck her head on a hard surface, resulting in her death.

Reports indicate that Ogbonna had allegedly faced ongoing mistreatment from the Chinese manager, who was said to have made unwanted advances towards her, which she rejected.

The incident has sparked significant unrest within the community, with local youths barricading the company gates, demanding justice for Ogbonna’s death. Their protests were met with a forceful response from soldiers stationed at the steel factory, who dispersed the demonstrators, reportedly using gunfire and physical force.

One of the protestors expressed the community’s outrage, stating, “The Chinese people at Inner Galaxy Company are dehumanizing Nigerians. The Chinese manager pushed Ocheze out of the crane. She fell, hit her head on the hard surface, and died. We want justice; our sister cannot die in vain. The government must investigate the activities of the Chinese people at Inner Galaxy Company. The soldiers guarding the company are shooting at us for protesting the death of our sister. They are subjecting Nigerians to much suffering. Enough is enough.”

As of the time of reporting, attempts to reach the Police Public Relations Officer of the Abia State command for comments have been unsuccessful.

Honorable Chris Nkwonta, the Member representing Ukwa West and Ukwa East federal constituency, has condemned the incident. In a statement, Nkwonta decried the manner of Ogbonna’s death, labeling it as a flagrant disregard for the sanctity of life and an act of hatred and wickedness by the Chinese expatriate against the host community.

The community is calling for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding Ogbonna’s death and for measures to ensure such incidents do not recur, emphasizing the need for respect and humane treatment of Nigerian workers by foreign nationals in the country.


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