The operatives of the Anambra Vigilante Group have killed two suspected gunmen said to be terrorising residents of the state.
It was gathered that the incident happened in the early hours of Monday in Okija, Ihiala Local Government Area of the state.
The Ihiala LGA is a border town between Imo and Anambra states and the hoodlums were said to have been terrorising members of the communities around the areas and also forcing them to comply with the Monday sit-at-home.
According to sources in the area, the gunmen, numbering about 15, stormed the camp of the vigilante operatives, thinking they were asleep and attempted to open fire on them before the security officials quickly mobilised and repelled them in a gun battle.
One of the sources said, “At about 3:00 am today, some hoodlums launched an attack on Anambra Security Forces but were vehemently resisted.
“Two of the gunmen were gunned down during a hot exchange of fire and two AK-47 rifles were also recovered, while many fled the scene.
“Many of the gunmen who fled as they could not withstand the superior firepower of the security operatives, sustained various degrees of injury and bullet wounds, while members of Anambra Security Forces were unscathed.”
While reacting to the development, Christian Aburime, the Press Secretary to the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, confirmed the incident in a statement.
Aburime said, “The need for a sane and secure environment in Anambra State remains a top priority of Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s administration. Accordingly, security forces remain unrelenting in their resolve to protect the lives and property of ndị Anambra, travellers, and all residents alike.”
Some of the residents who spoke about the development expressed delight, saying the hoodlums have been terrorising the area for a long time now.
A resident who gave her name simply as Chinwendu, said, “The hoodlums had been terrorising Okija for a long, most of the time, they come in the name of enforcing the Monday sit-at-home and use it to unleash mayhem.
“This is the reason the people in the area constituted a security committee. And we thank God that the initiative has started yielding results. Our people are determined to succeed on this project.”
When contacted, the Anambra State Police spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the development while calling on operators of both private and public hospitals to report any patient with bullet wounds.
Ikenga added that the police are already in a joint operation with the vigilante operatives to arrest the fleeing gang members who sustained gunshot injuries or otherwise.
“The AVG operatives repelled the attack in the early hours of today, 19/6/2023 at their office at Okija, demobilised two of the attackers, and recovered two Ak-47 rifles. No life was lost among the operatives and the AVG office is still intact.
“Also, the Command wants to use this opportunity to call on the proprietors of both private and public hospitals to admit but report all persons with gunshot or related injuries to the nearest police station.
“From what our men were able to find out, the fleeing suspects sustained bullet injuries, and we are working with AVG operatives to ensure we track them down.
“We are only calling on operators of private hospitals and managers of public hospitals in the area to be alert and report people with bullet injuries when they come for treatment.
“You may not entirely reject them, but upon admission, make sure you alert the police, so we can pick such a person and investigate the source of such a bullet injury,” Ikenga added.