IPOB members attack Governor Obiano in church, chant ‘no election in Anambra’

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, yesterday, narrowly escaped attack by youths and women suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at the St. Joseph Church, Ekwulobia, Aguata Local Government Area of the state.

The governor had attended a church in the area but had hardly settled down when some youths and women, who were adorned in Biafran insignias, chanting Biafra songs, besieged the gate of the church shouting, “No election in Anambra State; “we want referendum;” “no referendum, no election.”

Security operatives attached to the governor had to rush and lock up the entrance, used minimum force to protect the governor who was whisked into the church buildings.

An eyewitness stated:
    “As the confrontation between the police and IPOB continued, the number of the invaders kept swelling as if they were reinforced from somewhere. And when it was evident that the attackers wanted to lynch the governor, the security operatives attached to him had to smuggle him out of the church,” he said.

Speaking on the incident, a member of the governor’s press crew said the governor was not smuggled out of the church as alleged.

According to the member of the governor’s press crew, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the governor left after addressing the church at the end of the service.

The source stated,
    “The governor was not smuggled out of the church. The issue was that the security men had to stop the agitators at the gate of the church, when they started shouting ‘no election, no election.
    “The governor even addressed the issue while speaking to the congregation. He assured them that there would be election in the state.
    “He said nobody could stop election in Anambra State. The governor said most of the anti- election protesters are not from Anambra State.”

The Anambra Police Commissioner, Mr. Garba Umar, confirmed the incident, warning that the police would no longer tolerate such impunity.

He said the intension of the protesters was to attack the governor.

Garba added,
    “You press people should report this. We will no longer tolerate this impunity from anybody.
    “Why should they protest to the church? The Church is a place of worship and not a place of protest. It is obvious that they had criminal intention to attack the governor.
    “The police had to stop them at the gate. If they had dared my men, it would have been a different story. We can’t watch anybody breach public peace in this state. They should be warned to desist from this impunity.”

IPOB has in a statement issued yesterday, signed by Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, distanced itself from the attackers, maintaining that it remained nonviolent in its pursuit for Biafra freedom and could not change its methods of peaceful approach.

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