Imo in 48 hours: Gulak killed, police stations, courts, INEC office razed - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Imo in 48 hours: Gulak killed, police stations, courts, INEC office razed

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By Our Correspondent


When gunmen razed Attah divisional police headquarters in Njaba LGA of Imo state, many didn’t know the incident was just the tip of the iceberg in the violence that was about to envelop the state. Forty-eight hours after, another police station was set on fire while two courts and a health centre were razed.

As if that was not enough, Ahmed Gulak, a former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, was gunned down just as he was about departing the state for Abuja.

The attacks were similar to the spiralling violent incidents that have characterised states in the south-east in recent months.

The 48-hour mayhem started on Saturday evening when the gunmen razed Attah divisional police headquarters after scaring residents away with sporadic gunshots.

They had arrived in their numbers and camped there for almost one hour before eventually razing the police station.

Later in the day, news filtered in that the gunmen have moved to the magistrates and high courts in the area, setting the two buildings on fire and vandalising a community health centre.

The violence continued in Oguta LGA on Saturday night when hoodlums razed the Izombe police station.

According to Bala Elkana, the state police spokesman, four of the attackers were killed by the police while others escaped with gunshot wounds.

The day of horror finally ended but the attacks did not.

On Sunday morning, Gulak, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was killed by gunmen while he was approaching the airport to depart to Abuja.

The police said six armed gunmen ambushed his car at Umueze Obiangwu in Ngor-Okpala LGA and later identified the gunmen as members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

While Nigerians were still mourning Gulak, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that its office in Njaba LGA has been razed in yet another attack.

INEC said although no life lost, electoral materials, office equipment and furniture were destroyed in the attack.

That was not the end though: Okiemute Mrere, chief provost of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in the state was found dead in a bush on Sunday morning while his vehicle riddled with bullets along Owerri-Port Harcourt road.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE ATTACKS?

As was the case with Gulak’s murder, the police have, on several occasions, accused IPOB of causing the violence in the south-east through its militant arm named the Eastern Security Network (ESN).

It was found out that killings in the region tripled after the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) launched a security arm — the group denies any wrongdoing.

The secessionist group had said it “knows nothing” about Gulak’s death but the police said his assailants were identified as members of the proscribed group.