Of recent, the south east and the south south geopolitical zones and/or geo-cultural zones has become a war torn zone between the unknown gunmen and the Nigerian security architecture. This is as many officers within the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and within the Nigerian military were gun down while on active duty in the many states of the former Eastern Region. And, as the killings have continue unchecked, the federal government of Nigeria (FGN) appear handicapped in finding a solution to halt the killings.
Information available to 247ureports.com obtained through a consortium of sources close to the theatre of operations in the old eastern region reveals that the upcoming gubernatorial election scheduled to hold on November 6, 2021 may not hold owing to the possible vaccum in security created by the unfolding events.
Presently, the streets of the old eastern region, particularly, the streets of Anambra have been deserted by the officers of the NPF – who prior to the ongoing killings, had litered the streets of Anambra and the south east, in large numbers and had engaged with the residents with brazen lawlessness, in many instances.
The recent attack in Isuofia community in Anambra State where one of the aspirants was addressing his supporters – resulting in the deaths of three police officers and the kidnap of a seating Commissioner in the Obiano administration signifies a shift in modus operandi of the operations of the unknown gunmen. It pointed towards a political angle indicating more attacks possibly aimed at political rallies and/or campaigns against the upcoming election.
The attack has raised new fear among the governorship aspirants. Many of the aspirants have gone underground into hiding out of fear of their safety. Their police orderlies are no longer as visible as before. Instead, the police officers who are supposedly attached to the aspirants for protection – are seem often hiding behind buildings and without their police uniforms. Many of the aspirants no longer sleep in their houses – they usually lodge [sneak] themselves into hotels late at night – and by early in the morning they are checked out of the hotel. Many have also cancelled appearing at any public events with their police orderlies – or at any political rallies.
The fear has become real.
In talking with top members of the Obiano administration in Anambra State, it was made evident the administration believes that attacks were coming from the Eastern Security Network [ESN] under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. One of the commissioners told 247ureports.com that attacks on the police officers were geared to destabilize the State and the region into accepting the terms and conditions of the group – including elections. “But let me clear to you, Biafra is not coming back”, the commissioner said emphatically while noting that Biafra remains a pipe dream which Mazi Nnamdi Kanu uses to empower himself financially. The commissioner promised that gubernatorial elections would hold in Anambra as schedule. “Enough police and other security outfit will be deployed to the state to out match ESN”.
But the IPOB who have repeatedly denied responsibility for the killings of police officers and burning of police stations told our correspondent through the public relations officer, Comrade Emma Powerful that the IPOB has yet to make a declaration regarding the November 6, 2021 gubernatorial elections. In the words of the public relations officer, “leadership has not given any statement on that”.
On the part of the police in Anambra, they appear confident the elections will hold. The police public relations officer [PPRO], DSP Tochukwu Ikenga told 247ureports.com that the police will be ready. “Just like other elections, we are committed to maintain law and order and I can assure you the police command is ready”. The police in Anambra however noted a point of caution. “We do not want to be distracted by any speculations of some persons who might want to tied the challenges we are facing to. While noting some these factors to guide our threat analysis. Anambra State Police Command is more motivated in delivering in its mandate on protection of lives and property. Recently some of the successes recorded has been constructive suggestions and information by NDI Anambra and we urge them to sustain the tempo”.
The national secret police, the DSS who have had their running battle with the members of the ESN and IPOB, have made public allegations that the ESN were responsible for the killings and the burning of police stations in the State and in the region. The DSS also accused the ESN for a bank robbery in Abagana, Anambra State. The IPOB had since denied the allegation pointing out that the DSS sponsored the bank robbery.
Attempts to reach the DSS for comments failed as the public relations officer, Peter Afuanya declined to respond to our request for comment. But insider sources told 247ureports.com that the secret police had already moved into action in arresting many of the suspected members of the ESN. The arrests, according to the source, are intentionally not made public. “The DSS is mainly engaged in gathering intelligence from the arrested members.”
So far, the DSS believes the ESN group are being trained by former uniformed officers of the Nigerian military and of foreign military officers. The source acknowledges that there appear a clear and present danger in the region. “The November election is clearly threatened”.
247ureports.com reach out to the INEC for comments. They did not respond.