Just days before the critical governorship elections in Imo State, the Labour Party’s gubernatorial candidate, Senator Athan Achonu, experienced a harrowing encounter as his convoy came under gunfire. While going to a church synod in Owerri North Local Government Area, the senator’s entourage was met with an unexpected act of aggression that put their lives in jeopardy.
According to sources, Achonu’s procession faced a deliberate barricade near St Peter’s Anglican Church, Obibiezena. Reports indicate that the roadblock, consisting of an Armored Personnel Carrier, vehicles adorned with the branding of the All Progressive Congress, and a Hilux truck, was manned by heavily armed individuals identified as thugs.
The confrontation escalated when, upon the convoy’s approach, the gunfire came from the Armored Personnel Carrier. The assailants’ aim was off, narrowly missing the lead vehicle, a Wrangler SUV, and instead striking the window of a bulletproof Lexus in the motorcade.
How the attack on Achonu was resolved
This act of violence carried out in broad daylight, fortunately, resulted in no casualties, thanks to the protective features of the vehicles. During the attack, the resolve of the senator’s security team, including DSS officers, was tested as they took measures to ensure Achonu and his team were quickly and safely extracted from the volatile situation.
The discipline shown by these officers in averting a potentially deadly escalation was a testament to their commitment to safety and their candidate. The incident has sparked outrage among supporters and calls for a thorough investigation into the actions of the individuals responsible for the aggression.
It has been urged that all compromised security personnel should be reassigned to prevent further crises. In the wake of the attack, there is a clamor for higher authorities to intervene and ensure that the security climate in Imo State is stable and secure as election day approaches.
The Labour Party and Senator Achonu remain defiant in the face of intimidation and gunfire, standing firm on their commitment to democratic processes and the safety of all involved in the upcoming elections.
The call has been made to national leaders and security agencies to take immediate action to mitigate the risk of violence, ensuring that the people of Imo State can exercise their democratic rights without fear. This alarming incident serves as a reminder of the stakes involved in ensuring free and fair elections in a secure environment.
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