One police officer was, on Sunday, killed when gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra, Nigeria’s South-east.
The police spokesperson in the state, Tochukwu Ikenga confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES Monday morning.
He said the incident happened around 12: 50 p.m.
Mr Ikenga said the police officers engaged the gunmen in a gun duel, which forced them to flee the scene.
“Unfortunately, during the gun duel, one of the police operatives was fatally wounded,” he said.
The police spokesperson said the command had intensified patrol in the area to track down the suspects.
In a video clip of the incident, shared on various social media, and seen by PREMIUM TIMES, the slain police officer was lying in the middle of the road in a pool of his blood.
But, the residents, who had gathered to have a glance at the victim, scampered for safety when the gunmen appeared to have returned to the scene. Sporadic gunshots were heard from the background.
In a related development, gunmen also attacked the Onitsha branch of the Anambra State Broadcasting Service (ABS).
ABS is a media firm owned by the state government.
An official of the ABS, who asked not to be named, confirmed the attack to this newspaper.
He said the gunmen attacked the facility in the early hours of Monday.
The official said no life was not lost, but the gunmen razed the company’s car and another vehicle parked in the facility belonging to another official of the company who worked overnight.
The official, whose vehicle was razed during the attack, was also brutalised by the terror group.
Security in Nigeria’s South-east has deteriorated in recent times with attacks by armed persons reported almost on a daily basis across the region.
Anambra State has witnessed some of the worst attacks in the region. The attacks often target security agencies, government officials and facilities.
Mr Soludo, recently, visited Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in detention.
Mr Soludo said the visit to the IPOB leader was part of his “wider consultations with critical stakeholders” to ensure lasting peace and security in the South-east
During his inauguration as the state governor, Mr Soludo had called for dialogue with the IPOB group and other gunmen behind insecurity in the state and region.
The governor, thereafter, announced an amnesty programme for the gunmen and declared an end to the sit-at-home order in the state.
But residents have continued to obey the Monday sit-at-home order in the state and across the region, mostly out of fear.
The attacks by the gunmen increased in the state shortly after Mr Soludo’s inauguration and announcement of an end to the sit-at-home order in the state.
The latest attack comes five days after Mr Soludo declared a 12-hour curfew on the operation of vehicles in eight local government areas of the state where the attacks have been prevalent, among other security measures.
The Nigerian government has accused IPOB of being responsible for the deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied their involvement in the attacks.
The separatist group is leading agitation for an independent state of Biafra to be carved out from the South-east and some parts of the South-south Nigeria.
The leader of the secessionist group, Mr Kanu, is currently being detained in Abuja where he is facing trial for treason.
Mr Kanu appeared in court on May 18, in continuation of his trial. He is billed to appear in court again on May 26.
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