Anambra State University Campus Shutdown due to Gunmen Activities
Gunmen operating within Ihiala local government area have caused the temporary shutdown of activities at the Uli campus of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), a state-owned university in Anambra State, Nigeria. The attackers, who are believed to have come from neighbouring Orsu and Oru East local government areas of Imo State, have been carrying out hit-and-run operations in various communities in Ihiala local government area.
On Tuesday, academic and non-academic staff of the university were forced to turn back on their way to work as the gunmen shot sporadically at the Total filling station along the Onitsha-Owerri expressway. The attackers were claiming to enforce a sit-at-home order that would last from Tuesday to Thursday that week, but they were actually scaring people off the road.
Before the attack on the Total filling station, the gunmen had barricaded the famous Nkwo Ogbe Main Market and all banks in the area to prevent people from transacting their businesses. As a result of the ongoing security challenges, all scheduled meetings and lectures at Uli campus for the week were cancelled by the various heads of departments and units.
An official of COOU confirmed that authorities at the institution’s administrative headquarters in Igbariam, Anambra East local government area, have been briefed on the development.
The state police command has responded to the security threats posed by the gunmen. In a statement, the police spokesperson, Mr Tochukwu Ikenga, said that the joint security forces comprising of the police and military have dispersed the illegal sit-at-home order imposed by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
According to the police, the IPOB and ESN members, who were armed with guns and other dangerous weapons, came out in their numbers on motorbikes and started shooting sporadically in an attempt to disrupt commercial activities and vehicular movement in Ihiala. However, the joint operatives responded swiftly, which made the armed men abandon their evil plan and flee.
Unfortunately, due to the indiscriminate shootings by the armed group, a stray bullet hit the chief security officer (CSO) of a bank on the leg, and he was taken to the hospital where he is receiving treatment. No life was lost. Calm has returned to the area, as the police, along with other security forces, have intensified patrols, improved security dominance, and surveillance in the area.