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Tension in South East as nation marks independence anniversary

By Uzoma Nzeagwu, Osiberoha Osibe (Awka) and Nnamdi Akpa (Abakaliki)
01 October 2021   |   3:39 am
Gunmen, yesterday, attacked the convoy of Chris Azubogu, the lawmaker representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency in Anambra State.

Gunmen attack Reps member, sack police station
• Residents resort to panic buying, cancel events
• Umahi flays insecurity, sit-at-home order

Gunmen, yesterday, attacked the convoy of Chris Azubogu, the lawmaker representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency in Anambra State.

Azubogu was, however, not in the convoy during the attack, which killed his driver and left another person seriously injured.

The incident reportedly happened in the afternoon around Okacha junction, Neni, in the Anaocha Local Government Area.

Police Public Relations Officer, Ikenga Tochukwu, could not be reached for comments as calls to his telephone line went unanswered.

There was also tension in Ajalli, Orumba North Local Government Area of the state after armed men attacked a police station, with some police officers feared killed.

The building was set ablaze, while some persons, most likely suspects in police custody, were feared trapped in the inferno.

This came as residents of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and the Imo States resorted to panic buying in different markets.

In Anambra, all markets, including banks witnessed huge human traffic, while motor parks swarmed with passengers, as people attempted to travel before today’s Independence Day anniversary. It was gathered also that families canceled all burial ceremonies.

Secessionist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had warned in a statement by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, that no celebration of any sort should take place in the region, vowing that anybody saw outside, today, would have him or herself to blame.

The group also warned that the Nigerian flag should not be seen flying in Igbo land today. It said its planned total shutdown of the South East is designed to demonstrate its rejection of the Federal Government.

But responding to IPOB’s planned shutdown of the region, the Chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, said: “All flags must be flying very high tomorrow (today). In fact, they should fly higher. We believe in one, equitable and fair Nigeria and we will fare better in a united Nigeria where there is justice, equity and love.

“We condemn in totality the insecurity in the South East orchestrated by our own people tagged ‘unknown gunmen’. I appeal, on behalf of the governors, that this should come to a stop. We are very mobile people. Restricting our people is attempting to destroy us, and I am sure that every man and woman in the South East knows that.”