Tension rose in Onitsha, Anambra’s business hub, on Tuesday as the military rolled in to take over parts of the city in search of perpetrators of criminal activities in the state.
Military personnel were deployed to the town to arrest people believed to be involved in recent kidnap and killing of security operatives and citizens in the state.
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Governor Willie Obiano had on Sunday directed the security operatives in the state, youths, vigilantes and community leaders to rise up to the security challenges in the state.
Military officers were sighted at Atani Road, Upper Iweka in Onitsha, and on Onitsha-Owerri Road – with roadblocks for possible stop-and-search operations.
Last week, rampaging gunmen attacked some police stations in the state, killing policemen and carting away arms and ammunition.
The gunmen had killed policemen in Neni, Anaocha Local Government Area at a checkpoint.
Weeks ago, they killed four policemen in Nkpologwu in Aguata local government area of the state.
The yet-to-be-identified gunmen also kidnapped and killed the president-general of Omor community in Ayamelum local government area and also killed prison officer in Ekwulobia ,Aguata local government.
The gunmen also killed a naval personnel at an outpost in Awkuzu junction, in Oyi Local Government Area of the state.
A trader in Onitsha confirmed the heavy military presence in Onitsha to Daily Trust, saying soldiers had cordoned off some roads in Onitsha.
“There is no movement around Enamel Junction, and also on Onitsha-Owerri yesterday evening as the soldiers blocked everywhere. The shooting was much.
“I also got information from my driver that Atani and Obodo Ukwu roads were affected,” the source said.
When Daily Trust contacted the Anambra State Police Public Relations officer, DSP Ikenganya Tochukwu, on the military’s presence in Onitsha, he said, “For now the command is not aware of the military’s presence in the state, particularly in Onitsha.”
He promised to get back to our reporter after confirmation from Onitsha area Command but he was yet to do as at the time of filing this report.