Some aspirants in the November election in Anambra State have resorted to acquiring bullet proof vehicles to protect themselves.
Similarly, the 39 gubernatorial aspirants now shun public functions and gatherings for fear of possible attacks on them. Rather, they prefer to hold meetings behind closed doors with few delegates and party stalwarts at secretly designated venues.
This followed the IGP’s withdrawal of security details from government functionaries, political appointees as well as aspiring elected officials. A meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) billed for a hotel in Awka, ended when party members waited in vain without the aspirants turning up.
Also in Onitsha, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), function was to take place and when two aspirants arrived, they came in a white bullet proof van, without security and branded vehicles.
The meeting lasted for only 40 minutes and they all left in a hurry. Similarly, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) political gatherings have been shelved and due to the security challenges in the state and when one of correspondents visited the party office in Awka, only security guards were seen at the gate while offices were shut.
Also, the monthly Traditional Rulers Council meeting no longer holds due to the problems of insecurity. This much a staff at the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters attested to.
Our source, who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “The Traditional Rulers could not hold their meetings because of what we are facing at the moment and the leaders of the council told us that for now, we have to study the situation before holding physical meetings and that is the way it is now.” Similarly, residents of Awka, the state capital, now go to bed early due to security challenges caused by the killings by suspected cult members in the area. Every day, rival cult members paint the town red with reprisal killings.
As at the last count, a total of 28 suspected cult members were killed. Residents now close shops by 5:00 pm and by 8:00 pm, the popular Aroma junction, Ziks Avenue, Ifite road, and Amawbia, are deserted as people rush home for fear of being hit by stray bullets.
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, however said that the respective security formations have been beefed up, adding that the command has commenced routine operations at major flash points in the state.