A group of gunmen thwarted the planned All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) campaign in the local government area of Ihiala in Anambra state on Tuesday.
Although no group claimed responsibility for the attack, the gunmen were repulsed by security agents already present at the scene of the incident.
Anambra Police Public Relations Officer Tochukwu Ikenga confirmed the incident in a statement.
Before the governorate elections to be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on November 6, the party’s campaign train was expected to strike Ihiala, but without success.
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The attackers reportedly stormed the area in the morning, firing sporadically in an attempt to break into Odoata’s central school – the meeting place.
Shortly after their arrival, they were hired by a joint team of security guards – including soldiers and police – drafted to the site to prevent any form of disruption of public order.
Anambra Information Commissioner Cdon Adinuba, who also confirmed the incident, revealed that a soldier was killed in the shooting.
He blamed reports that the convoy of state governor Willie Obiano was attacked by the attackers, pointing out that security officers repelled the attack.
Adinuba said the armed men, who came in some vehicles on motorcycles, were forced to flee the scene due to the increased firepower of the security guards.
According to him, they then rushed to the large premises of a hospital located just in front of the countryside.
Ikenga, for his part, said no casualties had been recorded by police.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the thugs started shooting sporadically upon arriving at Odata Central School, but they were successfully repelled by police and military on the ground,” he said in a statement.
Some of the items recovered by security officers include an AK-47 rifle, 30 rounds, two magazines and four vehicles.
The command spokesperson said normalcy had returned to the area and asked residents to report those with gunshot wounds as soon as possible.