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Raphael Ede, Enugu
There was anxiety in Enugu State over the bombing of the President General of apex Igbo cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, at his country home.
Daily Sun gathered that the bombing occurred at about 5:00 am Sunday morning at his Ukehe home in Igbo-Ettit Local Government Area of Enugu State.
In a release by Chief Emeka Attamah, Media Adviser to the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the bomb explosion took place on Sunday, 29th April, 2018 in the country home of Chief Nnia Nwodo.
According to him, a cursory look by the Police Bomb Disposal Unit suggested it was an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that was hurled over the fence into the compound causing extensive damage to the windows, the ceiling of one of the houses in the compound, and an air-conditioning unit.
Daily Sun reports that the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Mohammed, accompanied by the Area Commander for Nsukka Police Command and the Divisional Police Officer for Igbo Etiti LGA, were on hand to inspect the scene of the bomb blast, which cratered parts of the compound.
Addressing the residents of Ukehe who trooped to Chief Nwodo’s home, the Police Commissioner enjoined them to be vigilant and report any strange faces to security operatives.
Describing Enugu State as very peaceful, Danmallam wondered why miscreants would be after the life of Chief Nwodo who he said is serving his people, adding that what happened called for greater security around him.
Danmallam ordered that security be beefed up in and around Nwodo’s compound and promised that the perpetrators would soon be identified and brought to justice.
Earlier, the Commander of the Bomb Disposal Unit, DSP John Aniche, had briefed the Commissioner and Chief Nwodo on the items they collected from the scene, including batteries, pellets and other materials used in preparing the IED, and said that they would be carefully analyzed.
Welcoming the Commissioner to his home, Chief Nwodo expressed surprise that anyone would be after his life, but added that the incident would not deter him from leading his people.
He thanked the Commissioner for his prompt response to the incident.
In a speech, the traditional ruler of Umudele in Ukehe, Igwe Lawrence Aroh, thanked God for saving the life of the President General.
Aroh wondered why some bad elements would constitute a danger to others.
He assured the Commissioner that the people would be extra vigilant and that any such an attempt in the future would be nipped in the bud.
Later, the Enugu State Director of DSS, Mrs E A Likiyon, came to see the scene of the explosion.
The Enugu State Police Command meanwhile vowed to unmask those behind the attack, describing the bombing as a minor explosion.
A release by police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu made available to Daily Sun, said that the Commissioner of Police Danmallam gave the assurance when he led some of key officers to the scene of the explosion.
“We thank God that there is no loss of life, nor major destruction. We have to be more vigilant and security-conscious and be able to partner with security agencies to ensure that there is no repeat of such an incident,” the spokesman stated.
The PPRO said that the explosion, which occurred at the early hours of Sunday, caused minor impacts on two windows of one of the buildings by the entrance of the gate and very close to the fence.
“Background enquiry gathered revealed that the perpetrator, who may not have had access through the entrance gate, may have thrown the object through the fence and it landed on the ground near the windows and exploded and gave some impacts,” he stated.
He disclosed that the operatives of the Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD) of the State Command has already moved into the scene where they have collected some of the samples from the debris of the explosion for proper analysis.
Amaraizu however assured that the area has been rendered safe by the EOD operatives, even as the Commissioner has directed the Area Commander Udenu to beef up security and surveillance within the axis.
Reacting to the incident, the Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu described the incident as shocking and very unfortunate.
“I call on the security agencies to fish out the culprits immediately. For we cannot avoid this kind of heinous crime. Enugu is been very peaceful and friendly. This peaceful climate musn’t be disrupted or truncated,” he said.
On his part, the Enugu State President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonna, described the incident as a clarion call to the Igbo people to be vigilant.
He said that what happened at Chief Nwodo’s house will not deter him from fighting the cause of Ndigbo.
“For the first time Ohanaeze, led by Chief Nnia Nwodo, is being reorganized to give Ndigbo a voice in national affairs and, most unfortunately somebody, bombing his house. For what reason? I am not sure if the person is Igbo, but we are waiting for police to fish out those behind it.
“I weep for Ndigbo because we are under attack. But I can assure you that what happened will not deter the PG from fighting the cause of Ndigbo in Nigeria,” Ogbonna said.