Unknown gunmen have attacked some state security operatives on patrol on old Enugu-Onitsha road in Abagana community in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State and killed two of the operatives.
Narrating the incident, an eyewitness and resident of the community who did not disclose his identity said the gunmen suspected to be members of a cult group attacked the vigilante operatives at about 11:30p.m on Friday night at a checkpoint near AP Filling Station in the area.
The eyewitness said he was returning from Awka, the state capital and reaching AP Filling station, he saw the vigilante operatives who while they were stopping him, were hitting sticks on his car.
“I called one of them and told him that this was not the right way to do things. I told him that if they mount a road block, police also mount road blocks but they don’t hit people’s cars with sticks. One of them said he was stopping me but I was not stopping but I told him I was stopping but that I wanted to buy fuel at AP Filling Station.
“So, I entered AP Filling Station and we were still there when we saw two cars passing. The vigilante members stopped them. The cars were filled with only young men.”
He said the vigilante operatives also started hitting the cars with sticks, and in the process, all the young men in the cars came out and fracas ensued, almost resulting in a terrible fight with the vigilante operatives.
“I was like, let me leave the place before something bad happens. However, the young men left, but not up to half an hour, they came back, because I was still at the filling station waiting to know if they would get money for me to do POS.
“It was not up to 30 minutes they left and they returned back and the next thing we heard was the sound of gunshots. We thought it was the vigilante members that were shooting. By the time we realised that the situation had gotten out of hand, everyone started running. We ran to the back of the filling station.
“I was peeping from where I was hiding and saw that they had killed one of the vigilante members called Dabere by the gutter side while the one they called Agu in the middle of the road was shot below the belt. Dabere died immediately there but Agu was still alive but was struggling to death while they were trying to get a vehicle to rush him to hospital.
“After I got home, I was still hearing gunshots everywhere on the Enugu-Onitsha-Abagana road. I heard a rumour that vigilante members killed a member of a rival cult group. So, vigilante members became their target.”
When contacted, the Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the attack, adding that the gunmen also attacked a police station in the community with a petrol bomb, after killing the two vigilante operatives.
In a statement made available on Saturday morning, Ikenga said that on February 3, 2023 by 11:30 pm, police operatives attached to Abagana Police Station resisted gunmen’s attack on the station and forestall the attackers from gaining entrance to the police facility.
The police spokesperson said that “The gunmen had earlier attacked Anambra State Vigilante Operatives on patrol, murdered two of their operatives, and on approaching Abagana Police Station, started shooting sporadically to gain entrance to the Police Station.
“The Police Operatives engaged the armed men in a gun duel, due to the superior fire of the police and in a bid for the gunmen to flee the scene, threw a petrol bomb into the station, which ignited the fire and affected the roof of an old building in the station. The fire service operatives responded swiftly and put off the fire.
“Meanwhile, patrols have been intensified in the area and within the state, further, development shall be communicated, please.”