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ANAMBRA RE-RUN POLLS: SECURITY BEEFED UP IN 11 LGAS

By NBF News

Apparently to forestall further breakdown of law and order, the Anambra State Police Command has placed a 24-hour security watch on about 11 local governments of Anambra State where the re-run elections ordered by the Court of Appeal, Enugu, would be conducted on Wednesday, February 15 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Police action followed the alleged setting ablaze of three vehicles belonging to supporters of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area by suspected thugs of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) at the weekend.

The local governments where the police command has directed its searchlight are, Anaocha, Njikoka, Dunukofia, Idemili South, Ihiala, Ekwusigo, Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Aguata, Orumba North and Orumba South.

Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Emeka Chukwuemeka told Daily Sun that the Agulu incident was the only one so far recorded and that the police were investigating it and also in an intense man-hunt for perpetrators.

The police image maker, however, advised people to go about their normal daily activities peacefully without fear of any molestation but warned parents to put their children under control as anyone who allowed himself to be used as a political thug would be dealt with.

He confirmed that report on the incidences involving the burning of Mitsubishi L300 bus belonging to the Anaocha Council Chairman of ACN, Chief Raphael Egbobe and another Peugeot pickup van parked in his compound at Ogbu-Ifite village, Agulu, by unknown gunmen who invaded his premises late Thursday night was received.

Meanwhile, narrating his ordeal to newsmen yesterday, the town-crier, Okafor, from Nkitaku village, Agulu, who was contracted to announce a proposed rally of the ACN candidate for Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency, Mr. Dozie Nwankwo, said, 'I got several phone calls from someone who gave his name as Iko Onuorah Onyemenan, a known trouble-maker in the neighbourhood who is also the chief thug of a highly placed state government official (names withheld). He warned me to stop announcing or working for ACN or any other party, apart from the APGA, or he would kill me and my family.'

'Because I had no previous problem with him or any other person, I simply told him that I am not a politician. That what I do is just a job from where I feed my family and that I work for all persons, group or associations without discrimination.'

On his part, Egbobe said his children told him some strange men in a black Toyota Hilux SUV invaded his compound late Thursday night asking for his whereabouts and his wife that they had bags of rice and envelope to deliver to him. He said he lost 11 cartons of wine and some personal effects.

'But when they learnt that both my wife and I were not yet back the strange men intensified their demand for the gates to be opened but were rebuffed by the children. So they left and came back at about 11pm shooting sporadically into the air, before scaling the fence to set the vehicles ablaze and ran.'

'When the family raised alarm calling for help to salvage the vehicles from the fire before it spread, the hoodlums came back shooting in all directions, and the neighbours ran for their lives.'