•My attackers were not amateurs, says former Imo governor, laments deaths of his security officers
Amby Uneze in Owerri
Four policemen were killed yesterday as the convoy of a former governor of Imo state, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim was attacked by gunmen.
Ohakim escaped death by whiskers as the vehicle the four policemen were in was burnt by the assailants of the former governor.
The gunmen were said to have targeted the former governor but were not so lucky on their target but they succeeded in hitting the security vehicle in the convoy of the ex-governor.
Ohakim, governor of Imo state between 2007 and 2011, was attacked at Oriagu in the Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of the state. It was gathered that Ohakim was with two of his children and was returning from a visit when the gunmen struck.
A source close to the ex-governor disclosed that it took the brevity of the former governor’s driver for him to escape.
According to the reliable source, the former governor was the main target but his driver was smart enough to beat them because they were driving to block him.
“Disappointed that their main target had escaped, they blocked his backup vehicle and burnt it. The four policemen with him were burnt.
“The fact that Ohakim is still alive today is a miracle. It is by the sheer grace of God and the smartness of his driver.
“Otherwise, he would have been a dead man by now.
“In frustration and disappointed that their main target had escaped, they blocked his backup vehicle and burnt it. The four policemen with him were burnt.”
Ohakim who managed to confirm the incident was sober.
He was able to escape because he was in a bulletproof vehicle.
Speaking in a telephone conversation with a low voice, he said his attackers were professionals and not amateurs.
Narrating what happened on phone at exactly 9.45 pm, the badly shaken governor said in a subdued voice that what happened was still like a dream.
“We were driving between Isiala Mbano and Ehime Mbano. These people blocked us at a place called Umualumaku.
“They attacked us from behind and were firing at our vehicles consistently. I thought I was a dead man and I was with two of my children – my son and daughter.
“What saved me was the bulletproof vehicle. That I am alive today is by the special grace of God and the bulletproof vehicle.
“But unfortunately for me they killed four of our boys, including the driver. Yes, we lost four of the boys and I am devastated. How can that be? What crime did they commit?”
Ohakim said even when his own driver managed to escape from the scene, the assailants pursued his vehicle.
“They pursued us and continued firing at our tyres. Luckily, the vehicle has what is called run-flat tyres on which you can continue driving even after a puncture. So, even when they shot at the tyres hoping to immobilise us, the vehicle continued moving. If they were ordinary tyres and the vehicle had stopped, they would cornered and finished us.
“But the tyres held on until we got back home. We drove for about 20 minutes before we got home. That was the saving grace.”
“The driver who manifested tremendous level of driving skill kept manoeuvring until he lost them at a junction when he went right and not knowing where we had gone, they headed the other direction on the road to Umuahia.
“We then turned and went back to my house. We were there when Imo Government House sent reinforcement from Owerri who brought the corpses of my security people.”
Ohakim, who said he saw the assailants said they were not amateurs.
“This goes beyond the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), I must say. These are professionals, well-trained. They are not ordinary people. They were driving a blue colour BMW 5-series car, brand new. They came to kill me.”
Ohakim lamented the worsening security situation in Imo State.
“I don’t know what this is all about. It is becoming terrible. Won’t people come home again? Are we going to stay in Owerri and Abuja permanently without coming back to our communities?” the former governor mourned.