THE killings in Anambra State continued unabated on Thursday as six policemen were shot dead by hoodlums despite the heavy presence of security operatives in major towns of the state.
Also, at Nnobi in Idemili South Local Government Area of the state, a car belonging to a member of the House of Representatives for Nnewi North/South/ Ekwusigo, Chris Azubogu, was attacked and his driver killed.
Thursday’s killings came barely 48 hours after the gruesome murder of Dr Chike Akunyili, the widower of the late former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, and eight others in the state.
It was gathered that the latest incident occurred when the gunmen attacked a police station in Ajali, Orumba North Local Government Area of the state.
Apart from the murder of the policemen, the police station was set ablaze when the assailants struck around 12.30pm.
When contacted on the telephone, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Tony Olofu, confirmed the incident.
Olofu, while speaking with The PUNCH, said, “Wait for detailed statement from the PPRO. As of now I can confirm to you that two policemen were killed in the incident.
Meanwhile, the media aide to Azubogu, Emeka Onyia, confirmed the killing of the lawmaker’s driver to one of our correspondents, saying Azubogu was not in the car when the hoodlums struck.
“Yes, his driver was killed, but Honourable Azubogu wasn’t in the car. In fact, Hon Chris Azubogu is not in the state,” Onyia said
Gov candidates advised to shun public appearances
In a related development, governorship candidates in the forthcoming general election in Anambra State have been told to avoid any form of public appearance, ostensibly to avoid being killed.
It was gathered that the advice was given to the candidates based on security report.
One of the candidates told The PUNCH, “Some of us were billed for manifesto debate with a professional body in the state today, but we were stopped from attending the event by a security report.
“We were warned by a top security outfit in the state that our security could not be guaranteed because of the prevailing circumstances in the state.
“I have suspended every outdoor campaign for now and I am sure most of my colleagues have done same. Remember that it was just two days ago, that the late, Prof. Dora Akunyili’s husband was killed.”
Another candidate, who begged not be named, said, “I now move around without security personnel. If you read the story of Akunyili’s attack, you would see that his killers were angered on sighting the police orderly in his car. So, that should serve as a lesson to some of us.”
Slain Akunyili’s children pen emotional tribute, say dad sad about Nigeria
Meanwhile, The children of slain Dr Chike Akunyili, the widower of the late Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, have revealed that their late father until his death on Tuesday had a bullet he sustained in the 1967-1970 Nigerian civil war in his skull.
They stated this in a tribute jointly authored and signed by six of them; Dr Ijeoma Akunyili, Dr Edozie Akunyili, Dr Somto Akunyili Asuzu, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr, and Obumneme Akunyili.
Describing their father’s death as brutal and senseless, they said their hearts broke twice over the development.
Their tribute read in part, “In his final days, his heart was heavy about the state of things in Nigeria. He lamented about the struggles of people unable to pay for treatment anymore and about the unfortunate state of unrest where human life had lost its value.
“Death in any situation is painful, but when it is as brutal and senseless as murder, our hearts break twice. As a nation mourns a man known to many as the husband of late Professor Dora Akunyili, we as a family remember the man we call daddy.
“As a young man, he fought as a soldier in the Biafra war. A war that earned him a bullet that stayed lodged in his skull ever since. From this experience of violence and death, he went on to become a doctor saving thousands of lives — a powerful testament to his journey through life.
“He was a loving husband. It is no surprise that, on the day of his untimely death, he was on his way from a memorial lecture in honor of his late wife, who he cherished and honored even in death. At this event and always, he invited everyone to be like his wife, Dora.
“He was a man of the people, loved by many for his wisdom and for his courage to always speak the truth. His counsel was sought far and wide.”
Akunyili’s killers planning mayhem today, says IPOB
However, the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra on Thursday warned perceived perpetrators of the ongoing killings and crisis in the South-East geopolitical zone to desist from doing the acts or be met with the wrath of its security arm, the Eastern Security Network.
It said killers of Dr.Chike Akunyili, husband of the late Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Dora Akunyili, were still poised to unleash further mayhem in the zone today (October 1) and blame it on IPOB.
It also alleged the perpetrators were equally out to attack schoolchildren, warning that the information was expedient for the southerners to be wary of what they do anywhere and at anytime.
The group’s Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, stated this in a statement on Thursday, a copy of which was made available to The PUNCH, even as he expressed the need for synergy between it and security agencies to forestall the imminent mayhem by the hoodlums.
The statement read in part, “Our volunteers and security operatives should be on alert in every part of Biafra land. We realise that some hoodlums working for our enemies would want to capitalise on this order and attack people and turn around and blame it on IPOB.
“IPOB through its intelligence units has discovered that the Nigerian establishment, working in cohort with the Fulani oligarchy has activated their second phase of their plan to take over indigenous peoples ancestral lands.
“We are raising this alarm so that Biafrans and residents of Biafra will beware of this evil plot by these blood suckers. They want to go on a killing spree in Biafra land and blame it on IPOB. Everybody will have to be cautious because the enemies are here with their agents of death.”
Ngige demands arrest of Anambra killers
Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has expressed outrage over the gruesome murder of Dr. Chike Akunyili and other residents of Anambra State by gunmen.
The minister also called on security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the killings in the state.
In a condolence message to the government and the people of Anambra State, Ngige said, “The murder of Dr Akunyili and others is an anomie.”
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