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Anambra State Police Command has confirmed the death of two policemen and three civilians during Sunday’s deadly armed attack on Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Uba’s convoy at Enugwu-Ukwu community in Njikoka Council Area of the state.
Senator Ubah, representing Anambra South senatorial zone, also confirmed the position of the Police.
This came as the apex Igbo socio-cultural organsiation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Presidential standard bearer of Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi; and Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo, described the attack as very disturbing, unfortunate and condemnable.
According to the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, two other policemen are currently receiving medical attention at the hospital.
Ikenga, who spoke to newsmen on phone, yesterday, said the command would leave no stone unturned to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act, adding that the state Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng, has since deployed intelligence operatives to the appropriate locations to fish out those behind the killings.
Reacting, yesterday, Senator Ubah confirmed that operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, the police, and civilians were among those killed during the ambush.
Although Ubah did not give a full list of those who lost their lives during the attack, he named Obum Ikechukwu and Goodness Mathias among the dead. He also did not say if the two were security operatives.
The state police command has also not given details and identities of those killed, although the PPRO, Ikenga, said the state commissioner of Police, had visited the scene of the attack.
Ohanaeze in a reaction through itsNational Publicity Secretary, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, said that the killing was alien to Igbo culture and wondered if those behind the dastardly acts in the South East are truly Igbo.
His words: “This is very disturbing. I feel so sad about it. In Igboland, in the past, killing was an abominable act, a taboo, and something that was not contemplated.
“But most unfortunately, the development in South East now is worrisome. I sometimes wonder if those behind these heinous crimes are Igbo.
“I’m disturbed. What are we supposed to hand over to the next generation as Igbo values and norms? How are we even sure it will not degenerate and become worse?”
The Ohanaeze chieftain also expressed disgust over the killing of a community leader at Agukwu-nri, weekend.
“I also feel sad that an Onowu, a highly revered personality from Agukwu-nri, was shot dead in the market. This sends a wrong signal.”
He blamed the rising insecurity in the country on bad governance and leadership failure, saying it can only end with the enthronement of good governance.
“No matter the military presence, the only thing that can solve the problem in Nigeria is to bring good governance. And the only way to bring good governance is through a credible election. By the time we have a credible election, and good people come to preside over the affairs of the country, the economy will be stimulated.
“When that is done, there will be employment and crime will reduce. There is no way you can reduce crime when there is a high rate of unemployment.
“So, what is happening in the country now is the effect of bad governance, bad leadership, unemployment, induced poverty, greed, and primitive accumulation of wealth by the leaders.
“So, the only way to solve it is when we change the leadership through the democratic revolution, then these things will begin to fizzle out.”
He said that the protracted strike action by university-based unions could also be fueling the insecurity in the country as some students might be recruited into the crime industry.
“Don’t be surprised that some of those behind the killings may be students who have been out of school for over six months of the strike.”
He also blamed the insecurity in the South East on marginalization and near political exclusion of the zone by the government at the centre.
“The other dimension that tends to create problems in the South East is the issue of alienation of the Igbo people from the centre of power. The deliberate alienation of Igbo is frustrating and at the extreme of such frustration, some may be tempted to take up arms.
“At a certain level of extreme provocation and marginalisation the people express frustration through taking up arms. So, the best way is to ensure there is good governance.”
The Presidential Candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, also strongly condemned the shooting at Enugu-Ukwu, Anambra State, yesterday, describing it as “unfortunate and condemnable”.
Speaking to newsmen at the Abuja Airport, Obi said he was saddened when he heard about the news, especially when lives were lost. He called on the perpetrators of such crimes nationwide to have a re-think of their actions, which he described as “injurious to growth and development.”
Obi, who described most of the shootings going on in every part of the country as one of the cumulative effects of bad leadership over the years, said that the best way to tackle them is to go to the root causes of discontent in the land and nip them in the bud rather than pretending that Nigeria has been fair to Nigerians.
Part of his words: “I have continued to emphasize the urgent need for enhanced security and protection of life and property in our society. I reiterate my unwavering commitment to putting an end to all forms of violence in different parts of the country by seeking the root causes, under my watch, when elected the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Violence and killings of Nigerians under any guise whatsoever will not be accepted or tolerated under my watch as President.”
Commiserating with Governor Chukwuma Soludo, he encouraged him not to relent in his efforts to restore sanity to the state.
Obi also commiserated with Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and the affected families, over the painful incident and loss of lives. He said: “I deeply commiserate with my brother, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, and extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones in this ugly incidence.”
Also reacting yesterday, Governor Chukwuma Soludo said his administration is fully determined to wipe out criminality in the state.
Other politicians in the state who reacted yesterday include the senator representing Anambra Central, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife; the member representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South, and Ekwusigo federal constituency, Chris Azubogu, and the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, in last year’s election in Anambra State, Senator Andy Uba.
Governor Soludo, who reacted through his press secretary, Mr. Christian Aburime, condemned the attack in strong terms and described the action as the last ditched effort of the sinking gunmen who have been decimated in most parts of the state.
“Governor Soludo condemns in strong terms, the attack by yet-to-be identified gunmen on Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah’s convoy.
“His government is fully determined to wipe out every act of criminality in the state and these criminal elements,” Aburime said.
According to him, all security agencies have been placed on full alert to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous attack, assuring that they would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
In his reaction, Azubogu, who hails from Nnewi as Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, said the news of the attack came to him as a rude shock.
He said: “More painful was the confirmation that some of his police escorts and aides lost their lives in that reprehensible and condemnable attack.
“With a heavy heart, I sincerely commiserate with the distinguished Senator; the families of his late aides, and the entire police community over the lives lost during the attack.
Similarly, Senator Ekwunife described the attack as unimaginable.
“My sincere condolences go to the families who lost their loved ones in the senseless carnage.
“Government must leave no stone unturned in arresting the security situation in our state and ensure that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are brought to justice,” she said.
In his reaction, Senator Andy Uba who represented Anambra South in the senate before Ifeanyi Ubah, while urging Governor Soludo to fish out the killers, observed that killings of this nature were alien to the Igbo.
In a statement he signed, Uba said: “The news came to me as a shock and I sincerely condemn the horrific attack. These attacks are uncalled for and it’s alien to Igbo culture to maim and kill humans.
“I urge the government to do the needful in bringing total sanity to our dear Anambra State.”
In his reaction, the immediate past Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Abia South, condemned the gruesome attack on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah by gunmen, describing it as despicable and evil.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja by his Media Adviser, Uchenna Awom, Senator Abaribe said that the sad incident which is one among many others across the country is a clear indication of the total collapse of security.
Senator Abaribe also said he would not want to read political motives behind the attack, but cautioned against such if that is the case saying no political aspiration is worth any human life.
He, therefore, called for a thorough investigation on this and other related ones to unravel the culprits and perhaps the motives for the rising attacks coming on the eve of the 2023 general elections.
Abaribe said, “It has become most expedient now for the authorities to deploy the best of our security and intelligence network across the board to nip such incidences in the bud.
“We must engender confidence and reassure Nigerians of their safety at all times.”
However, he condoled with Senator Uba, the Police authorities, and the families of those who lost their lives in the fatal attack.
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