Gunmen on Wednesday attacked Ihiala Police Station in Anambra State with bomb.
Though reason for the attack could not be confirmed as of press time, a source told Nigerian Tribune that the hoodlums numbering about 11 in two vehicles must have attacked the station to cart away arms and ammunition.
The source said, “The police officers at the facility engaged the gunmen and recovered one Ak-47 rifle from them — but the culprits escaped.
”It’s obvious that the attackers came for a serious business. We suspect they came for the station’s arms and ammunition, but when the police responded with superior fireworks, the hoodlums had to bomb the place and fled.”
The Anambra State Police Command confirmed the incident, saying the hoodlums threw explosives into the facility which set the building ablaze.
The Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO), Tochukwu Ikenga, who confirmed the incident in a statement circulated to journalists , said, “Our operatives in the early hours of today( Wednesday) engaged some gunmen who attacked Ihiala police divisional headquarters and recovered one abandoned AK-47 rifle.
“The gunmen escaped the scene due to the superior fire of the police operatives although no casualty was recorded.
“Unfortunately, the explosives the gunmen threw inside the police station had already ignited a fire that affected the building.
“The fire has been put off. Operation is still ongoing in the area, further details shall be communicated.
Meanwhile, the state governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, during a statewide broadcast to the people of the state on Wednesday vowed that he would not relent in his fight against criminals in the state.
Soludo said, “The first key agenda of our five major pillars happens to relate to security, law and order and this is the aspect that I want to specifically talk about, to say to our people, where we were at the time I was sworn into office on the 17th of March 2022 and where we are today, which shows the difference between day and night.
“On the 17th of March 2022, eight local governments were literally under siege, taken over by criminals and hoodlums in various camps set up in these local governments.
“But by the grace of God, those 8 local governments have been totally liberated. Law and order seems to be returning back to Anambra. All the camps have been decimated and some of the deadly criminals have been taken out for good,” Soludo stated.
“Few days ago, we had over eighty of these touts ‘agberos’ harassing people around Upper Iweka and environs, taken into custody and to be prosecuted and probably jailed.
“We are trying to keep our streets safe from touts and criminals. Though we may never have a crime free society but comparatively, I don’t know any state in Nigeria that is safer than Anambra.
“I want to commend all the citizens of Anambra and the stakeholders who hearkened to our call that ‘If you see something, say something, if you say something, do something’. And to our youths who have taken the destiny of this state into their hands; to our women and men who had contributed in assisting government to get hold of criminals in the state. Thank you all.
“Two weeks ago, one criminal in far away Finland declared five days sit at home but ndi Anambra defied the order! Not a single day was observed.
“Thousands of our people returned back home for Christmas and that is why the streets are all busy.
“I want to commend the security agencies, the Anambra Road Traffic Management Agency, the OCHA Brigade, the Vigilante Services, the Anambra youths who have volunteered to serve our people, to keep our streets safe, restore law and order.
“I want to use this occasion to specially appreciate the law enforcement agencies; the Nigerian Police, the Navy, the DSS, the Civil Defense and of course, our very gallant Anambra Vigilante Services and all the volunteers.
“To all the ndi Anambra who have risen up to the occasion, helping to organize the local vigilantes, providing logistics, donation to the security trust fund and those helping in their own little ways to make sure we have a safer homeland.
“There is still work to be done, there are still challenges and all hands must continue to be on deck,” Governor Soludo pointed out.
“I want to commend all the armed forces who put their lives on the line to have our people sleep with their two eyes closed.
“All those who have paid the supreme sacrifice just to keep Anambra safe, several of them died needlessly I must say. May their souls rest in peace.
“These criminals wants the security officers out of the road but fortunately, we thank God that they have remained resolute.
“We will continue to provide all the support that we can to all the security forces as government and as a people of Anambra.
“What they are doing, the sacrifices that they make their commitments and FOBs, we will continue to strengthen them and make them even stronger to keep our people safe and secured.
“In normal circumstances, these road blocks wouldn’t have been needed but this is what we brought up on ourselves.
“Our people taking up arms in the bushes, involved in criminality so to speak. Since they have decided to operate in an abnormal way, we now need abnormal solution.
“We are not always the most confident but the most effective in this circumstance and until the insecurity situation comes down to near zero, we will continue to have the road blocks and FOBs in place.
“I want to thank every ndi Anambra who have been involved. Everyone has a role to play in the road ahead.
“The youths must rise and take their destinies into their hands because their future is on the line, the future of their children and grandchildren. It is your future we are keeping awake everyday to secure.
“I want to use this medium again to appeal to those in the bush and forest, the criminals out there, the kidnappers to come out. We are offering them the opportunity to retrain them and help them start a new productive life.
“The course you have taken by being in the bush is one that leads to nowhere. It is not going to take you to anywhere. Criminality cannot pay you in the long term.”