By Tony Edike, Enugu
AN attempt by about 50 armed youth to forcefully take over the Government House, Enugu in the early hours of Saturday, was repelled by security operatives attached to the Enugu State seat of power.
Vanguard gathered there were heavy shootings by security operatives, comprising policemen, men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC and soldiers who prevented the invaders from gaining entry into the Government House.
However, one of the attackers was shot dead while three others were arrested. The others, Vanguard learnt made good their escape,some with bullet wounds.
Several machetes were also recovered from the gang.
Although the mission of the youth, who were armed with machetes carrying flags with different inscriptions and insignia is yet to be ascertained, an eyewitness said they arrived the Government House at about 4.30am in buses. They reportedly parked their vehicles along Nza Street and marched to the Government House gate where they met the security operatives.
They were said to have told the security men to open the gate claiming that they were at the Government House on protest, but when one the NSCDC officials opened the gate to ask why they decided to come in the night, one of the invaders macheted him and made attempts to force the gate open for his members.
But sensing danger, other security operatives rushed to the scene only to see the gang wielding machetes and asking their members to enter the Government House.
The Chief Security Officer to Governor Sullivan Chime, Mr. Fidelis Ogarabe, DSP, arrived the scene and coordinated his operatives who eventually succeeded in repelling the invaders after hours of gun fire and pursued them to Independence Layout. They succeeded in arresting three of the gang, who tied red bands on their arms, similar to Bakassi Boys, operating in some South East states.
Reacting to the development, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Sullivan Chime, Mr. Chukwudi Achife said “vigilant security personnel attached to the Government House Enugu early this morning foiled an armed attack on the Government House.”
Achife said “the attack occurred when at about 4.30am when young men numbering about 50 and carrying machetes and cutlasses invaded the Government House and tried to force their way in.
“The attackers were immediately engaged by the security personnel who shot dead one person and arrested three. One security personnel was injured in the attack.”
Achife added that the arrested persons along with some of the weapons recovered(matchetes) have since been handed over to the Enugu State Police Command for further investigations.