. Imo in 48 hours: Gulak killed, police stations, courts, INEC office razed
When gunmen razed Attah divisional police headquarters in Njaba LGA of Imo state, many didn’t know the incident was just the tip of the iceberg in the violence that was about to envelop the state. Forty-eight hours after, another police station was set on fire while two courts and a health centre were razed.
As if that was not enough, Ahmed Gulak, a former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, was gunned down just as he was about departing the state for Abuja.
The attacks were similar to the spiralling violent incidents that have characterised states in the south-east in recent months.
The 48-hour mayhem started on Saturday evening when the gunmen razed Attah divisional police headquarters after scaring residents away with sporadic gunshots.
They had arrived in their numbers and camped there for almost one hour before eventually razing the police station.
Later in the day, news filtered in that the gunmen have moved to the magistrates and high courts in the area, setting the two buildings on fire and vandalising a community health centre.
The violence continued in Oguta LGA on Saturday night when hoodlums razed the Izombe police station.
According to Bala Elkana, the state police spokesman, four of the attackers were killed by the police while others escaped with gunshot wounds.
The day of horror finally ended but the attacks did not.
On Sunday morning, Gulak, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was killed by gunmen while he was approaching the airport to depart to Abuja.
The police said six armed gunmen ambushed his car at Umueze Obiangwu in Ngor-Okpala LGA and later identified the gunmen as members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
While Nigerians were still mourning Gulak, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that its office in Njaba LGA has been razed in yet another attack.
INEC said although no life lost, electoral materials, office equipment and furniture were destroyed in the attack.
That was not the end though: Okiemute Mrere, chief provost of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in the state was found dead in a bush on Sunday morning while his vehicle riddled with bullets along Owerri-Port Harcourt road.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE ATTACKS?
As was the case with Gulak’s murder, the police have, on several occasions, accused IPOB of causing the violence in the south-east through its militant arm named the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
TheCable found out that killings in the region tripled after the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) launched a security arm — the group denies any wrongdoing.
The secessionist group had said it “knows nothing” about Gulak’s death but the police said his assailants were identified as members of the proscribed group.
. Gunmen set ablaze another police station in Imo
Gunmen, on Monday, burnt down Amandugba Divisional Police Headquarters in Isu Local Government Area of Imo State.
This brings to four the number of Divisional Police Headquarters razed in less than one week in Imo State.
The armed hoodlums were said to have thrown inflammable substances into the police station, setting off the fire.
The development heightened tension in the state as resident complied with the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra on Monday.
A villager, who pleaded anonymity, said, ” Isu Divisional Police Headquarters is on fire now. Fire has engulfed the facility. The attackers threw explosives objects and it caught fire immediately.”
Imo Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, could not be reached as of the time of filing this report.
. Enugu judge shot dead, police order manhunt for killers
Unknown gunmen have shot dead a former Judge of the Enugu State High Court, Justice Stanley Nnaji.
A video posted on Twitter by The Nigerian Barrister @TheNigerianBar showed armed men dragging Nnaji out of his car at a deserted crossroad.
The video also shows a pileup of cars behind the judge’s car – all not moving as the incident unfolded.
Police has described the location as the popular Ebeano Tunnel Roundabout off Garden Avenue in Enugu.
A volley of shots was heard before the men jumped into the black SUV and drove away.
The video, filmed by a resident overlooking the crossroad, contains the voice of the recorder.
Enugu State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Aliyu, has ordered a full-scale manhunt of armed assailants.
Justice Nnaji was a Judge of the Enugu State High Court until he was dismissed following his role in the removal of Governor Chris Ngige, the then Governor of Anambra State in 2007 via a questionable ex-parte order.
His killing comes hours after the former Special Adviser on politics to President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak, was shot dead by gunmen in Owerri, Imo State.
Gulak was on his way to Abuja from Owerri when he was killed Saturday night.
. Gulak: Insecurity now worse in Imo under APC –Reps minority caucus
Minority caucus in the House of Representatives says it is alarmed by the gruesome killing of Adamawa State-born Ahmed Gulak, a former Special Adviser on Political Matters to former President Goodluck Jonathan, by gunmen in Owerri, the Imo State capital on Sunday.
The caucus declared that insecurity had become worse in Imo State after the All Progressives Congress began to govern the state.
The caucus, in a statement issued by the Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, in a statement quoted the caucus as describing Gulak’s assassination as “wicked and barbaric.”
It urged the police and other security agencies to fish out the assailants.
The statement was titled ‘Reps Minority Caucus Alarmed, Condemns Gulak’s Killing…Demands Justice.’
According to the opposition lawmakers, “We urge that those behind this assassination be immediately made to face the full wrath of the law. Moreover, the minority caucus is heavily disturbed by the worsening insecurity, violence and killings in Imo, particularly since the All Progressives Congress administration took over the state.
“As representatives of the people, our caucus believes that the situation has gone beyond the capacity of the government of Imo State, especially given its failure to gain control since inception.
“The Minority caucus, therefore, urges urgent security and constitutional steps to check rising violent activities, restore law and order and bring the tense situation in the state under control.
“Our caucus condoles with the Gulak family over the sad incident and further urges Nigerians to remain alert and continue to pray for God’s divine intervention for our nation at this trying time.”
. Why Igbo people obey Nnamdi Kanu’s #SitAtHome order – Ex-DIG Adeoye
Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Adedayo Adeoye (retd.), has said people in the South-Eastern part of the country probably complied with proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra’s sit-at-home order for fear of being attacked while some obeyed because they support IPOB.
DIG Adeoye stated this in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH on Monday.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that commercial activities came to a standstill on Monday in Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Abia, and Ebonyi States as residents deserted public places in compliance with IPOB’s sit-at-home order.
IPOB, through its Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, had said human and vehicular movement would be restricted across the South-East on Monday to mark the 54th anniversary of Biafra.
As a result, IPOB said all markets, parks, schools, airports and others would be shut down.
The state governments and the police had asked the people to ignore the separatist group’s sit-at-home order.
But The PUNCH reports that commercial banks, schools, shops, malls, and other public places were all shut in the South-East on Monday. Also, commercial and private vehicles deserted the roads.
Commenting on the development, DIG Adeoye said, “Some people probably stayed at home because they support what is happening there. Another way to look at it is that that the people probably stayed at home because they fear they would be attacked.”
The DIG further said the rising insecurity in the South-East will affect the 2023 general elections as people might be afraid to come out and vote.
“The situation in the South-East will definitely affect the 2023 election. While some people will be bold to come out during the election, some will be afraid to do so. Those who are bold to come out will vote. The vote needed is the majority. If 10 people vote and six vote for a party, the party has gotten the majority,” he said.
He, however, appealed to the Federal Government to resolve the agitations in the country amicably by granting true federalism to sub-nationals.
“It is important that all these issues should be resolved through true federalism. We should go back to the 1963 constitution. I am not in support of secession but the zones should be granted true federalism. That does not mean Nigeria will not exist again. Nigeria will still exist,” DIG Adeoye stated.