Just days before the governorship elections in Imo State scheduled for November 11, Senator Athan Achonu, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, was reportedly attacked in the state.
According to reports, Achonu’s convoy was targeted while en route to St Peter’s Anglican Church in Obibiezena, Owerri North Local Government Area. The attack occurred when his convoy encountered a roadblock set up by thugs, who had positioned an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), an All Progressives Congress-branded Sienna, and a Hilux truck.
In a statement issued by Chibuikem Diala, the Director of Media and Publicity for the Senator Athan Achonu Campaign Organisation, it was revealed that the tragedy was narrowly averted. The convoy was allegedly fired upon by police officers in the Armored Personnel Carrier, narrowly missing the Wrangler SUV but hitting the driver’s window of one of the bulletproof Lexus SUVs in the convoy. Fortunately, no casualties were reported due to the bulletproof vehicle.
The statement further revealed that the police officer, Oladimeji, who led the team of policemen and Ebubeagu security operatives, refused to comply even after the Police Commissioner spoke to him over the phone. The situation escalated as a young man identified as ‘TAKPE,’ backed by the police, threatened to destroy the convoy if it did not turn back. This created panic among the women in the convoy.
To avoid further confrontation, the Department of State Services (DSS) and other security officers accompanying Senator Achonu exercised restraint and safely moved the candidate and his team to a secure location.
The statement called for an urgent investigation into the actions of the involved culprits, including Officer Ola and the state commissioner of police. It also demanded the arrest and prosecution of the chief thug, ‘Takpe,’ shown in a viral video. Additionally, the immediate transfer of compromised officers was requested to prevent further crises.
The Labour Party and its candidate, Senator Athan Achonu, along with democracy advocates in Imo State, vowed not to be intimidated by these incidents. They called upon President Bola Tinubu, the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, the Chief of Army Staff, the Head of the Department of State Services (DSS), and other relevant security agencies to address the security situation in Imo State and prevent bloodshed during and after the upcoming election.