The rate of insecurity in the South-East has continued to generate concerns as cases of attacks on security operatives and killing of citizens in the region keep increasing.
SaharaReporters has also observed that these attacks are usually carried out by unidentified persons usually reported in the media as ‘unknown gunmen’.
These assailants not only attack security operatives and bases but also do not spare innocent citizens going about their daily activities.
SaharaReporters examine the top 5 hotspot areas in the region.
Owerri in Imo State is one of the most ravaged areas of the region that have come under constant attacks. Of recent, the country home of Governor Hope Uzodinma came under attack by gunmen.
The gunmen succeeded in killing two security operatives attached to the governor’s mansion, burning the edifice, and destroying vehicles parked inside the compound.
Meanwhile, on April 5, 2021, the Owerri Custodial Centre in Imo State was successfully attacked by unknown gunmen, who released a total of 1,844 inmates in custody.
The attackers stormed the facility in the early hours of the day and gained entrance into the yard by using explosives to blast the administrative block.
There was also panic in the Imo State capital on April 26 as soldiers allegedly shot and killed Divine Nwaneri, a 100 level student of the soil science and biotechnology department of the Imo State University, Owerri.
On January 22, Nigerian soldiers invaded Orlu, a town in Imo State, in search of Eastern Security Network (ESN) operatives. Eight buildings were burnt and one person was killed in the process.
Security forces re-invaded the area on January 25, clashing with the ESN and killing at least five people before leaving. Four Nigerian soldiers were killed in the fight and the Nigerian Army withdrew though Nigerian Air Force planes and helicopters were deployed to search for ESN operatives in and around Orlu.
On February 17, hundreds of military operatives launched heavy attacks on the suspected camps of the ESN in some parts of the forest –Umunna in Orlu and Orsu local government areas of Imo state.
Other areas that have witnessed attacks on security operatives in the region include: Okigwe South Area Command Headquarters, Ehime Mbano where five policemen were killed during an operation by gunmen. Gunmen in the early hours of Thursday, April 8, attacked the Mbieri Divisional Police Headquarters situated in the Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state.
Similarly, on February 25, suspected hoodlums burnt down the police divisional headquarters in Aboh Mbaise, Imo State. According to the state’s police public relation officer, Ikeokwu Godson Orlando, the suspected hoodlums razed the station and injured a female police officer in the process.
On March 17, media reports had it that some gunmen attacked the Isiala Mbano Divisional Police Headquarters in Umuelemai, Imo State.
The gunmen injured a police officer (who later died) and set ablaze files when they were unable to find any rifle.
On February 6, gunmen suspected to be bandits attacked the police station in Umulowo, Imo State, after killing some police officers and carting away arms. Two police officers were said to have lost their lives during the attack.
Ohuakwu Local Council
On April 12, gunmen attacked Otuebu and Obodo Ocha villages in Ohaukwu Local Council of Ebonyi State, killing six persons and leaving many with injuries.
The attackers also razed many houses, yam barns, vehicles, farm products, among others.
Some Effium militants, on March 29 attacked the Ezza community in Ebonyi State, burning many houses.
The lingering communal conflict in the state between the Effium and Ezza Effium peoples has been violent, resulting in killings and destruction of property.
Residents of Ngbo Community in the local government also woke up on the morning of April 13 to attacks by gunmen, 15 persons were killed in the attack.
On January 24, eight persons died following clashes between Effium and Ezza Effium communities in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state.
On February 23, it was reported that at least 25 people were killed and over 125 houses burned down in armed communal fighting between the Effium and Ezza Effium communities of the state.
Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State
On April 26, there was pandemonium on the Igbariam campus of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State, as students and residents sought safety, following the alleged killing of nine persons and 23 cows by gunmen.
Unknown gunmen reportedly killed an unspecified number of soldiers in the same local council on March 19.
The gunmen set ablaze a police van in Neni and carted away arms belonging to the late policemen, while in Awkuzu, the felled soldiers also lost their weapons to the attackers.
The soldiers were killed at an outpost in Awkuzu, Oyi Local Government Area, both of Anambra State.
On April 21, a yet-to-be-identified young man was allegedly killed by policemen in Awkuzu, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra state for overtaking their patrol vehicles.
The deceased, who had recently returned to Nigeria from South Africa, was shot immediately he overtook the vehicle of the policemen.
On April 19, media reports had it that two police officers were killed in Anambra State, in a deadly attack by gunmen on a police facility in the state.
Some vehicles parked at the station’s premises were razed during the attack at the Zone 13 police headquarters at Ukpo, near Awka.
On April 20, there was a mass shooting in various areas in Awka, the Anambra State capital, which resulted in the death of three young people.
The shooting happened at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) temporary junction and Ifite area, close to the university. According to reports, three males, all youths, were killed at the end of simultaneous shootings in both locations.
On March 21, a police station in Mgbakwu in the Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State came under attack, where some arms and ammunition were reportedly carted away.
SaharaReporters, New York