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Monday, April 22, 2024

Supporters of Anambra House of Reps Member Shot, Kidnapped Ahead of Re-run Election

 

By Izunna Okafor, Awka

What could be better described as tension has enveloped some parts of Nanka community in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State, following the shooting of a grassroots politician and staunch loyalist of the Young People’s Party (YPP) in the community by unidentified thugs.

The incident was said to have happened on Saturday night, shortly after the victim, identified as Joe Mohel, organized a meeting between the member representing Orumba North and South in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Chinwe Nnabuife and her Nanka constituents.

This reporter, Izunna Okafor, gathered that some yet-to-be-identified thugs had severally threatened Hon. Nnabuife not to step her feet into Nanka community again, especially in the build-up of the re-run election for her seat.

Recall that an Appeal Court had recently ordered for re-run election in some parts of Nanka community for the Orumba North and South Federal Constituency seat, following a petition filed by a former occupant of the seat and 2023 candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the same post, Hon. Okwudili Ezenwankwo, who was challenging Hon. Nnabuife’s victory in the just concluded general election. Hon. Nnabuife had been declared the winner of the election and sworn-in after the 2023 general election, while Hon. Ezenwankwo approached the court to declare him the winner.

According to sources, following the petition by Hon. Ezenwankwo, who hails from Nanka community, the court ordered a re-run election in some parts of Nanka (his hometown) between him and Hon. Nnabuife of the YPP.

However, it was gathered that even as the date for the re-run election is yet to be fixed, Hon. Nnabuife had started receiving life threats from some people of Nanka community, warning her not to dare come into the community henceforth for whatsoever reason, especially before the re-run election.

She was also said to have been barred from undertaking or carrying out any developmental project in Nanka community, even while she still holds her certificate of return and still serves as the representative of the people of the Constituency in the Federal House.

Attesting to this, a source told this reporter that Hon. Nnabuife, who had already mobilized contractor and equipments for the rehabilitation of an all-important road in Agbiligba village of Nanka community was told to suspend the move, while some thugs who threatened to destroy any equipment seen at the site, also warned her never to come to Nanka community again, as she would regret her life if she does.

Howbeit, Hon. Nnabuife, who believes that Nanka is still part of her Constituency, defied the threats and visited the people of the community on Saturday amid tight security, where she interacted with some of the constituents and indigenes of the community. During the visit, she also told the people of Nanka about how some indigenes of the community at the top are blocking the road she wants to rehabilitate for them and also preventing her from undertaking any developmental project in their community, all to the amazement of the people.

This honourable visit of Mrs. Nnabuife to Nanka community was said to have been ironed out by Mr. Mohel, who also mobilized the villagers to receive her and her entourage at the chosen venue for the meeting.

However, it was barely one hour after the meeting that some unidentified thugs tracked Mr. Mohel to the village hall where he was having some deliberations with some of his co-villagers, and opened fire on him.

An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, said the thugs came with Lexus 350 and first released some bullets into the air to register their presence and to scare the people, before they eventually gunned down Mohel and zoomed off in a twinkle of an eye.

The thugs were also said to have abducted one other villager, identified as Ichie Patrick Ezeanaka, who was seen as another influential grassroots politician and mobilizer. The abduction was carried out at the same location where Mohel was shot as they were all together before the thugs stormed.

As these attacks and the circumstances surrounding them have continued to generate wider condemnation from people of the community and beyond; it was gathered that Mr. Mohel, who was shot on the stomach and buttock, is currently struggling for his dear life at an undisclosed hospital where he was eventually admitted for an urgent medical attention after he was rejected by some hospitals where he was initially rushed to.

On the other hands, the whereabouts of the abductee, Ichie Ezeanaka and the identities of his abductors also still remain unknown, as at the time of filing this report.

The Spokesperson of the Anambra State Police Command, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, could not be reached for his reaction on the incident as at the time of this publication.

This is a developing story.

More details later…

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