Condemning as reprehensible and absolutely uncalled for the violent assassination attempt on the person of the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial zone at the National Assembly, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, a leading civil Rights body:- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) faulted security strategy in the South East for the success of the dastardly act.
HURIWA regretted that armed attackers could target Senator Ifeanyi Ubah who is rated as one of the best political office holder in the entire South East that singularly has taken hundreds of young Igbo people out of unemployment and has just contributed significantly a humongous sum of cash to the Anambra state government to enhance security in Anambra State. The Rights group said no reason could be ruled out including assassination which it says the investigators should thoroughly investigate to unravel the remote and immediate circumstances surrounding the dastardly criminal attempt on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah’s life and the slaughtering of a score of his personal and security aides including a passerby.
HURIWA stated that an unspecified number of police operatives were reportedly killed on Sunday at Enugwu-Ukwu community in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State when suspected assailants opened fire on the convoy of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.
Sources in the community, who do not want their names in print for security purposes, said when the gunmen opened fire on the convoy, police operatives in the convoy responded and some of the policemen were gunned down in the shoot-out.
A source said, “Senator Ifeanyi Ubah was attacked today by some hoodlums in Enugwu-Ukwu. It was a calculated attempt. It wasn’t an impromptu action. “The policemen were about four in the convoy and they were attacked.“All their arms were collected. The boys that spearheaded that attack were about nine in number.” Another source claimed that six policemen were killed in the attack. Senator Ifeanyi Ubah who later spoke from Awka acknowledged that some security details attached to him from the Nigerian police force abd the Department of state services including some of his personal aides were gunned down.
HURIWA quoting a close ally of the senator said, “It was an attempted assassination on the Senator Ifeanyi Ubah. He survived it but there are casualties. Some policemen in his convoy were killed. I just spoke with him. He is okay but he told me there are casualties.”
The spokesperson of the state police command, Toochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident, but insisted that the casualty figure was still unknown just as he said, “The Commissioner of Police, Anambra State Command, Echeng Echeng, has led police operatives to the scene where sporadic shootings took place in Enugwu-Ukwu. Though details of the incident are still sketchy, operatives are on the ground there as operations are going on and the situation is being monitored. Further details shall be communicated please.”
Speaking against the backdrops of the incident in a densely populated and obviously very busy junction in an urban area of Anambra State, HURIWA said there is no logic to explain that such an audacious violent attack can happen in such a place and it took ages for any sort of security intervention to arrive at the scene of the crime.
“For the mere fact that eye witnesses asserted that the violent assassination attempt took some time to play out including a driver who said he was dissuaded from driving through the scene of the crime by eyewitnesses whilst it was still happening and the security agents only just arrived after the attackers had reportedly vanished into thin air shows that there is everything wrong with the security architecture of the South East region and the response time by armed security forces even when such crimes take place in urban centres.”
“If we may ask, where were the military operatives that reportedly were deployed in the South East for special operation and why did it take such a long time for operatives of armed Security Services to reach the crime scene even when their men were also targeted? We think the heads of the security agencies in the South East need to go back to the drawing board and map out better, much more effective response mechanisms and even deploy preventive strategies more to curb the growing rate of sophisticated crime. The security operatives need not wait until the attackers have finished their job and disappeared before they now start running after violent killers who had since completed their dare devil tasks. The State governments in the South East need to spend money transparently to procure information technology tools for crime prevention and combats such as drones.
HURIWA said it deeply empathize and sympathise with Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and families of his assassinated aides including Police operatives, attached to his convoy, also asked the Anambra state governor to lead the charge to bring together governors and stakeholders of Igbo origin to work out and implement common strategies to end the growing insecurity in Igbo region.
The Rights group has also challenged the hierarchies of the judicial system at all levels to implement quick win formula to quicken the dispensation of justice so violent criminals are made to face capital punishment even as HURIWA challenged the governors to end the unconstitutional moratorium against implementation of capital punishment. HURIWA blamed governors who refused to sign on to public execution of hardened convicted criminals for the upsurge in crimes of sophisticated nature around the Country.