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Ifeanyi Uba: Tension Mounts In South-East Over Attacks On Politicians

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The fatal attack on the convoy of Senator Ifeanyi Uba is the latest in the rounds of targeted attacks against politicians in the South-East region.

Uba survived the deadly attack on his convoy in Enugu-Ukwu; however, several other aides did not survive as many died from gun wounds.

While no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the insecurity in the region has claimed numerous lives and properties, a development that is often blamed on the activities of separatists.

The activities of “Unknown Gunmen” have worsened the security situation, which has claimed several lives, including politicians.

Here are some politicians who have been attacked in the past few years.

Ahmed Gulak

The Adamawa State-born politician was gunned down on May 30, 2021, along Imo State Airport Road.

The former aide to Goodluck Jonathan was a close ally of Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State.

Early this year, police arrested Anosike Chimobi, 38, from Umuedo, Ahiazu Mbaise council area of the State for allegedly killing Mr Gulak.

Obiora Agbasimalo

Agbasimalo, the governorship candidate of Labour Party at the last governorship election was abducted on September 18, 2021, along with his security detail on his way from Ezinifitte to Azia in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The candidate was unable to participate in the election and has remained missing till date.

Okechukwu Okoye

Mr Okoye, who represented Aguata Constituency 2 in the Anambra State House of Assembly and his campaign director, Cyril Chiegboka, were abducted in Aguata in May.

Days after the abduction, the head of Mr Okoye was dumped at a motor park in Amaechi, a community in Nnewi South Local Government Area of the State and his body was also found in Nnobi, Idemili South Local Government Area of the State.

Emeka Alaehobi

Emeka, a youth leader of All Progressives Grand Alliance was reportedly gun-down by unknown gunmen in Utuh, a community in Nnewi Local Government.

According to a media report, the deceased was kidnapped after his house was raided by gunmen. His body was subsequently dumped at Utuh junction.

He is one of the victims of the violence that has engulfed the southeast region.

Emeka Azubogu

In the buildup to the 2021 Anambra Governorship election, Mr Azubogu’s convoy was attacked by gunmen and his aide was killed in the attack.

According to reports, the aids were on their way to the airport to pick up the lawmaker.

Mr Azubogu represents Nnewi North/Nnewi South/Ekwusigo Federal Constituency.

These developments have created fear in the minds of residents despite re-assurances from the State Government.

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Security & Crime

Three Cops, Two Soldiers Shot Dead At Ebonyi-Enugu Border

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Rampaging gunmen struck again on Saturday night killing two soldiers and three policemen in Enugu-Ebonyi border.

The gunmen, who operated in a Toyota Sienna, first killed the two soldiers at a checkpoint in Enugu before proceeding to the Enugu-Ebonyi border.

Three policemen were reportedly shot dead at the border checkpoint. Another wounded policeman is said to be receiving treatment.

The Ebonyi State Police Command, on Sunday, confirmed the incident.

The command’s spokesperson, SP Chris Anyanwu, said, “The attack by gunmen at Ebonyi/Enugu boundary took place at about 18:08hrs.

“Three police personnel of Operation Safer Highway were fatally injured and later confirmed dead.

“The hoodlums operated in two sienna vehicles, drove into the checkpoint, and opened fire on the policemen.”

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No fewer than three policemen were reportedly shot dead by gunmen on Saturday night.

The incident, which occurred at the border checkpoint along the Abakaliki/Enugu Expressway, was said to have been perpetrated by hoodlums, who, it was gathered, operated in two Sienna buses.

Another policeman who was shot in the leg is said to be receiving treatment at a hospital in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital.

The Ebonyi State Police Command, on Sunday, confirmed the incident.

The command’s spokesperson, SP Chris Anyanwu, said, “The attack by gunmen at Ebonyi/Enugu boundary took place at about 18:08hrs.

“Three police personnel of Operation Safer Highway were fatally injured and later confirmed dead.

“The hoodlums operated in two sienna vehicles, drove into the checkpoint, and opened fire on the policemen.”

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Security & Crime

Why I Staged My Kidnap, Collected Ransom From Church Members – Jos Pastor

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Pastor Albarka Bitrus, the Jos-based cleric who staged his kidnapping and collecred ransom from church members, has revealed the reason for his action.

The police explained that Bitrus was apprehended on Wednesday following a “vigorous investigation”.

The police observed that the pastor, of ECWA Church Jos, had on several occasions staged his kidnapping and collected ransom, in collaboration with a gang to commit the crime in order to get his money.

While speaking at the headquarters of the command, the pastor explained that financial challenges made him to stage his kidnapping.

He, however, said he regretted his action.

He confessed, “I put myself into these activities because of the financial challenges I am facing. When I did the first one, I felt guilty. When I went out, the money with me got finished. I was thinking of coming back. I was just confused. That is why I did the second one. I am regretting my action.”

He further explained that he burnt the vehicle of his senior pastor because he was guilty of what he did, adding that he was confused and did not know what came over of him.

He, however, confessed of what he did, saying, “I am sorry for what I have done. I am really sorry.”

The police explained that the suspect collected the sum of N400,000 on November 14, 2022 and on November 30, he staged another kidnapping of himself and collected the sum of N200,000 from his sympathizers, who are members of his church.

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NSCDC Confirms Seven Officers Dead In Terrorists’ Ambush In Kaduna

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Bandits on Monday ambushed and killed seven personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) at the Kuriga mining site in the Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Five other personnel from a sister security agency and local security service were also murdered by ferocious bandits during the attack which occurred at 10am on Monday.

NSCDC Director of Public Relations, Olusola Odumosu, in a statement on Tuesday, said the personnel were attached to the Kaduna State Ministry of Mines and were on official duty at the Kuriga mining site when they were attacked.

“After the attack, the bandits carted away riffles of the slain operatives and the remains of the slain officers and men have been recovered and deposited at the Barau Diko Hospital Kaduna,” the statement partly read.

The Commandant General, Ahmed Audi described the unfortunate incident as a big loss to the Corps, families of the slain victims and the nation.

He commiserated with the families and friends of the deceased and prayed that God grants them the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.

“In honour of the slain personnel, the CG has directed that the Corps’ flag be hoisted at half-mast and that a national prayer involving both Christians and muslims be organized at the Corps National headquarters, Abuja, to pray for Gods protection for all officers and men of the Corps in the new year and avert a recurrence of such awful incident,” the statement noted.

Birnin Gwari, one of the most notorious local governments in Kaduna, has heavy presence of terrorists.

Last December, a Senior Councillor of the Birnin Gwari Emirate, Zubair Abdurra’uf said the Ansaru terrorist group had established another government within Birnin Gwari and taxed helpless residents.

In May, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai also said Boko Haram and the Ansaru terrorists have taken over the Birnin-Gwari and Giwa local government areas in the state.

Kaduna, one of the seven states in the North-West geopolitical zone, has recorded increasing bandit and terrorist attacks in the last two years including the infamous infiltration of the Nigerian Defence Academy on August 24, 2021, and the dastard attack on a moving train on March 28, 2022.

The Kaduna State Government said 1,192 persons were killed by bandits and other violent groups in 2021 while over 3,000 residents, students, and travellers were kidnapped. So far, over 800 people have been killed by bandits, and more than 1,200 persons kidnapped in Kaduna between January and September 2022, according to official data.

 

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