When the news broke on Tuesday that an All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) campaign ground In Anambra state was attacked trapping Governor Willy Obiano of Anambra state and APGA flag bearer, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo for at least two hours amidst gun battle between security forces and the gunmen who came with bikes and SUVs, the state was thrown into confusion and uncertainty.
According to a report by The Nation, the incident happened at Odoata community in Ihiala Local Government area of the state, a source said ” The Governor’ s convoy was held for about one hour while gunshots were booming everywhere in the area. They did not attack the convoy but security men.
Though the spokesman for the Anambra state Police Command, Ikenga Tochukwu, confirmed the attack but claimed no live was lost in the gun battle between security forces and the so- called unknown gunmen.
” Preliminary investigations revealed that the hoodlums started shooting sporadically while arriving at Odata Central School, but they were successfully repelled by police operatives and military personnel on ground. ” The police said
Nigerian Army Lost A Soldier In The Gun Battle
The Anambra State commissioner of Information, Cdon Adinuba said a soldier was killed during the confrontation which lasted for well over two hours, according to a report by Channels TV, the gunmen couldn’ t withstand the superior fire power of the joint security forces as they were forced to withdraw abandoning their vehicles and guns.
The gang was said to have taken refuge in the large hospital located opposite Odoata central school, the venue of the APGA rally, and the security forces couldn’ t engage them in the hospital which gave them chance to melt into the bushes around, but security forces are on their trail.
I Was Not Attacked, Governor Obiano Cries Out
The governor of Anambra state, Chief Willy Obiano said that he was never at the Ihiala venue of APGA campaign but was faraway in another campaign function in Ogbaru Local government of the state.
According a statement signed by James Eze, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, he said the news that he was caught up in the said attack is fake news and should be disregarded because he was nowhere near Ihiala, he added that the campaign outing of his party in In Ogbaru was very successful and without any incident.
Part of the statement reads, ” We wish to inform the general public that the report is a blatant lie without a shred of truth in it. The fact is that when some gunmen engaged security operatives in a shootout in Ihiala today, Governor Obiano was attending a pre- scheduled political rally in Ogbaru Local Government Area.
” The Ogbaru campaign was highly successful with a large turn of party members and supporters who came to reassure Prof Soludo and APGA of their support in the coming election. There was not a single incident of violence in the campaign venue and its surroundings and Governor Obiano and his fellow party men and women all went home peacefully after the rally.
Alleged Attack On Soludo’ s Campaign Team Not True
Similarly on the side of the APGA governorship candidate, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, he released a statement through his Aide on Social Media, Joe Anatune, and he said that it is on untrue that he was at the venue of the attack in Odoata, Ihiala but confirmed that he was with governor Obiano in Agbaru attending a campaign rally.
He praised the security forces for their prompt and professional response to the attack and sympathized with families that lost loved during the attack.
The statement read in parts: ” It is also, however, important to note that while this unfortunate incident was happening, Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo and Governor Willie Obiano were both at Ogbaru at a campaign rally organised by APGA and not at Ihiala as being insinuated by some fake news peddlers.
” Consequently, the news being peddled around that the campaign train was attacked is therefore untrue and should be disregarded.
Ohaneze Ndigbo Calls For 30 Days Cease Fire
Given the rising insecurity in the South East, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide (OYC) has called for a month cease fire as according them, there is already an ongoing process to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) from detention which will help to douse the tension in the region.
In a statement on Wednesday signed by the OYC President- General, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, he pleaded with aggrieved Igbo youths to lay down their weapons for at least 30 days so that those who are involved in negotiating for Kanu’ s release will be given chance continue their good.
He said in the statement that, ” it is just proper that at this juncture, the NASS caucus and two governors who are making moves to secure Nnamdi Kanu’ s freedom, be given a chance.
” To this end, we appeal that every form of restiveness should cease henceforth till a period of one month, within which we expect to see visible progress towards the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. “