Again, gunmen attack Okigwe PDP candidate, set houses, vehicles on fire
Police begin manhunt of attackers
Barely 72 hours to the State House of Assembly elections, suspected gunmen have set on fire the country home of Ifeanyi Ozoemena, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate for Okigwe Local Council of Imo State.
The Guardian gathered from an eyewitness that the suspects, numbering over seven, arrived at Ozoemena’s compound in a Sienna Toyota vehicle at about 2:00p.m. on Tuesday.
After a failed attempt to get their target, the suspects allegedly threw explosive devices into houses and vehicles parked within the compound and drove out, shooting sporadically in the air.
Reacting, Ozoemena expressed shock over the development, saying that it was by God’s grace that his household, including his aged parents escaped the attack.
He described the incident as unfortunate, barbaric and inhumane, while calling on the security agencies for adequate security and to swing into action and apprehend the perpetrators.
He said: “I just thanked God for sparing the lives of my family members, including that of my aged parents. If not for His grace, we would have been killed. I don’t know why some people will think of such evil against me. As I speak to you now, both my house and my father’s own were all burnt. Also, all the vehicles parked in the compound were set on fire.
“I have reported it to the police and I expect them to come to my aide and ensure that those behind this unfortunate, barbaric and inhumane act are arrested to face consequences of their actions.”
The incident happened two weeks after a similar attack was launched on his kinsmen, including the State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Hon. Emeka Okoronkwo with property worth hundreds of millions damaged.
MEANWHILE, Imo State Police Command has intensified efforts to arrest the attackers of Ozoemena’s country home.
Spokesperson for Imo State Police Command, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Henry Okoye, confirmed this in a statement issued yesterday.
He said: “In the early hours of today, March 8, 2023, information was received that armed men in large numbers invaded the house of the PDP candidate contesting for Imo State House of Assembly, Okigwe Constituency, Ifeanyi A. Ozoemelam, ‘m’ at Umuokparaocha village Umuolo Okigwe, threw petrol bombs on the roof of his house and set it on fire.
“On receipt of this information, Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Okigwe led an operational team and swiftly mobilised to the scene, the miscreants escaped and the fire expanded into an inferno. Intensive patrol is ongoing in the area with the aim of arresting the perpetrators of this dastardly act and bringing them to face the full wrath of the law.
“The Commissioner of Police Imo State, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, while empathising with the victim for the serious damage done on his house, has ordered a discrete investigation into the case and encouraged the law abiding residents of Okigwe not to panic as patrols have been intensified in the area.
“He also urged them not to relent in giving timely and useful information that may assist the police in arresting the fleeing suspects. More so, he urged them to report any abnormal occurrence or suspicious person seen in their vicinity via the command emergency line: 08034773600 or 08098880197.”