…3 security operatives killed – Police
…They were repelled, a politically motivated attack – Imo govt
…Aggrieved politicians in Imo, at work – COSEYL
By Chinonso Alozie
Not up to a month, the Owerri Correctional center and Imo police headquarters were burnt by hoodlums, the Imo state governor’s house at his hometown, Omuma in Oru East local government area of Imo, was attacked with a petrol bomb, by hoodlums, destroyed vehicles, killed not less than three security operatives as well as an officer of the Imo state fire service, Atenesuis Iheakor, a level eight officer.
The incident which occurred at about 08:15 am on Saturday threw the entire Omuma community into chaos as the hoodlums continued to cause damages.
According to the Imo state Police command through the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Orlando Ikeokwo, said: “Yes I can confirm the story, the hoodlums attacked the Governor’s house by throwing in Petrol bomb as a result of which two cars were burnt, but they were successfully repelled.
“And none of the building was set ablaze, however, one unarmed personnel of the NSCDC was killed in the process, the hoodlums while escaping also killed a Police Sergeant and another NSCDC personnel both in their private vehicles at Mgbidi junction.”
Also, Vanguard went further to investigate how an officer of the Imo state fire service was killed, named Atenesuis Iheakor, a level eight officer, which was confirmed by the Director of Imo state Fire Service, Japhate Okereafor.
However, a source from the Omuma community told Vanguard that, “The man was killed as they were driving to Governor Hope Uzodinma ‘s house to help quench the fire. Just not more than two poles from Uzodinma’s house.”
Also, further investigation revealed that not only that Iheakor, is a level eight officer that is married with about five children.
Furthermore, the attacks were said to have spread to other local government areas, Vanguard gathered that hours after Imo state governor’s house was attacked at his hometown in Omuma, Oru East local government area of Imo state, by hoodlums in black and black attire, Vanguard was told that the hoodlums also carried out pockets of attacks in some parts of other local government areas in the state.
As of the time of filing this report, a source who spoke to Vanguard said that it was the same armed group who attacked the governor’s home town were responsible for the other attacks.
He said: “The attacks in other areas is not something serious. They were shooting in other to clear the way for themselves but as a result of the shooting some people running got injured. I was told that stray bullets got some people who may not survive the bullet wound. The areas these hoodlums were shooting sporadically as they were going home, were in Orlu, parts of Oru East and Oguta local government areas.”
“Before the end of today, there may be more attacks, especially on the police stations as their usual way of ending their operation when this kind of thing starts,” The source said.
Reacting, the Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma, through his State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, said: “Gallant security operatives this morning repelled an attack on the Omuma country home of the governor of Imo State, Sen Hope Uzodimma.
“At about 9am today, Saturday, April 24th, a group of hoodlums numbering about 15 driving in a motorcade of three vehicles accompanied by a tipper loaded with used tyres, stormed the country home of the governor in Omuma, Oru East LGA and attempted to burn down the house.”
“However, vigilant security operatives attached to the Governor’s house successfully repelled the attack and consequently minimized the damage they had planned to unleash. In the crossfire that ensued a few casualties were recorded. Preliminary investigation suggests that the foiled attack may have been politically sponsored.
“The government has directed the relevant security agencies to expedite investigation on the incident and promptly apprehend the sponsors and their agents and bring them to justice,” Emelumba said.
Also reacting the Coalition of Southeast Leaders led by Goodluck Ibem said: “The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, the apex socio-political youth organization in the South East geopolitical zone condemns in strongest terms the vicious invasion and incursion by men of the underworld wearing black and black that lead to the untimely death of security operatives guarding the governor’s house in his country home at Omuma in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo state. The burning of the governor’s house and killing of security men on duty is wicked and barbaric.
“The vicious attack where the governor’s house was set on fire and security men killed is totally uncalled for and should stop forthwith. Igboland is a peaceful place and anyone that is behind these vicious attacks on Igboland land must be brought to justice.
“The attack on the governor’s residence is purely the handiwork of aggrieved politicians who are not happy with the governor’s stance against corruption and conversion of state government properties to personal properties.
“The series of attacks in recent times in the state by unknown gunmen took place between 2:00am midnight and no live was lost, but in this case, the attackers came in broad daylight to kill and set the governor’s house in his country home ablaze.”
“The attackers and their sponsors who perpetrated the attack wants everyone to know their true identity and we demand the security agencies to immediately move into action and arrest those involved in the dastardly acts that led to the death of Nigerian youths on duty in the governor’s house.
“No man is above the law and we wouldn’t want to pre-empt the investigation of our security agents whose job it is to conduct investigation on the attack. But we insist that those involved in this attack must be brought to justice. We, therefore, warn those who have vowed to make the South East that is very peaceful a war zone to park their things and leave immediately,” COSEYL said.