48 Hours after Soludo, Nnamdi Kanu Meeting, Gunmen Strike in Anambra
•Arsonists raze LG secretariat, courts, EEDC office, kidnap lawmaker
•Engage military in all-night shootout, police kill enforcers of sit-at-home
Despite the visit of Anambra State governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo to the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in the detention facility of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) last Friday, insecurity has persisted in the state.
Soludo who visited Kanu, had in a social media post he made, stated that the IPOB leader was unhappy with the insecurity pervading the South-east.
While many thought the visit would make some elements perpetrating insecurity in the region, especially Anambra to soft pedal, THISDAY findings showed that just two days after the visit, the number of cases of insecurity in the state has increased.
Last Saturday, Sunday and yesterday, attacks on innocent Anambra people were registered, with a local government secretariat, office of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) and courts torched.
On Sunday, suspected arsonists burnt down Idemili North Local Government secretariat located at Ogidi and a Magistrate Court in the area too.
Sources said the arsonists entered the premises on Sunday night to perpetuate the act, burning down all files, properties in the secretariat, including the secretariat building.
The videos and pictures circulating online also showed that the entire buildings were reduced to rubbles, while vehicles parked inside the local government secretariat were also burnt to ashes.
The state police command confirmed the development, attributing it to unidentified arsonists.
Also, unidentified gunmen same Sunday night allegedly engaged military men in a shoot-out at 3-3 estate, Nkwelle Ezunaka, near Onitsha.
Sources said the shooting which started at about 10pm lasted late into the night, with bullets flying in the air, while expended shells dropped on roofs of residents in torrents.
It was gathered that the shootout started after the unidentified riffle-wielding men took battle to the door step of the military, in a spot, where they were stationed, within the estate.
A resident of the area who spoke to THISDAY on condition of anonymity, said they were scared stiff all through the night as sounds of gunshot rented the air.
She said: “It is true. Yesterday night at housing estate gate, unknown gun men attacked the military men securing us. There was three hours open fire. My estate was hot from 10pm – 12am last night. Call your colleagues living at Onitsha to confirm.”
It was learnt that the gunmen also visited the Government Reserved Area (GRA) in Onitsha, where they also shot intermittently.
At Amansea, a border town between Anambra and Enugu State, gunmen numbering about seven and wearing hoods, yesterday mounted guard to enforce compliance of the sit-at-home order.
A man, Mr. Ekene, who drove his sick mother from Oji River, a border town on the Enugu flank to Awka to meet up with a doctor’s appointment told THISDAY that he was saved by sight of his mother, who was lying on the back seat.
“About seven of them were on the road, but when I told them I was taking my sick mother to the hospital, they allowed me to go,” the man said.
Also, on Sunday evening, Mr. Okechukwu Okoye, a lawmaker representing Aguata Constituency 1 in the State House of Assembly was kidnapped.
Okoye is an indigene of Isuofia, same community with Soludo.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, who confirmed the kidnap while speaking with journalists, said the lawmaker’s black Sienna bus, which he was driving before the incident, had been recovered.
Most other incidences of insecurity listed above were also confirmed by Ikenga, who disclosed that two persons said to be enforcing compliance to the Monday sit at home were yesterday gunned down by police operatives.
Ikenga said: “Operatives on crime prevention patrol in the early hours of today 16/5/2022 along Umunze, road, Orumba South LGA, engaged arm bearing gunmen allegedly enforcing sit – at – home in Anambra State.
“The operatives neutralised two of the miscreants and recovered a white Toyota Hiace Bus with no registration number.”
Ikenga further stated that the miscreants where obstructing the movement of innocent road users going for their businesses, when they were accosted by the operatives.
“The hoodlums forcefully collect motorbikes and tricycles, chase away the passengers and then set the motorcycle or tricycle ablaze.
“The Command operatives has intensified patrol within the state and the situation is being monitored,” Tochukwu said.
Across Anambra State, including Awka, Onitsha, Ekwulobia and Nnewi, the sit at home recorded more compliance with all the above mentioned cities registering very low human and vehicular movements, just as schools, banks, markets and other public places were deserted.