By Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo
Residents of Umuahia the capital city of Abia state were on Sunday gripped by tension following an attack on a police station within the capital city territory by unknown gunmen.
The police station located at Trademore Housing Estate, near Ubani Ibeku modern market in Umuahia North local government area was burnt down at about 11.00am on Sunday.
The news of the attack caused pandemonium in the capital city with several churches ending their services abruptly to enable members scamper to their homes for safety.
It was the first time a police station had been targeted within the capital city though no fewer than four police stations had been razed since this year.
The targeted police station located along Umuahia-Uzuakoli highway was apparently a soft target for the hoodlums given its isolated location.
The last incident of attack on police facility occurred three weeks ago at Uzuakoli Police Station in Bende local government area, about seven kilometers from the scene of the Sunday incident.
Meanwhile the police have cordoned off Bende road in the city centre where the headquarters of the state command, the Umuahia Central Police Station and Police Hospital are all located.
Heavily armed mobile and regular policemen have already taken positions at strategic points close to the police facilities to ward off any possible attack from hoodlums.
Worshippers returning from church services were seen raising their hands above their heads as they crossed police checkpoints while suspicious passersby were searched before they were allowed to move on.
To further scare would-be daredevil attackers, the police have been firing gunshots intermittently at the state headquarters, to show their preparedness to hit back if attacked.
Efforts to reach the state police public relations officer(PPRO) SP Geoffrey Ogbonna did not yield result as he didn’t pick the calls made to his line.