Gunmen opened fire at the Nnewi, prominent Nkpor crossroads near Onitsha and the Odumegwu Ojukwu University campus on Friday, forcing the closure of local marketplaces and schools in the area.
It was learned that many parents who had previously dropped their children off at schools came back to retrieve them as soon as gunshots were heard in various sections of the state.
The gunmen also followed commercial motorbike and keke operators, as well as private cars and shuttle buses from Awkuzu’s Igbariam Junction.
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Activities at the Uli campus of the Anambra State-owned Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, COOU, were temporarily halted in May due to increased activity by gunmen in the Ihiala local government area.
The majority of the assailants are said to be from Imo State’s neighboring Orsu and Oru East local government areas, and they conduct out hit-and-run operations in numerous communities in Ihiala.
Academic and non-academic staff at the university who were on their way to work had to turn around because gunmen were shooting sporadically at a popular Total filling station along the Onitsha-Owerri expressway, scaring people off the road under the guise of enforcing a sit-in, which they claimed would last from Tuesday to Thursday this week.
The Anambra State Police Command has asked citizens of the state to go about their legitimate business and not to be alarmed by rumors that were circulating, asking the people to remain indoors on Friday.
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Tochukwu Ikenga, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP, stated in a statement on Friday that the fear was caused by “mischief-makers” who shared phony security alerts/messages and doctored old recordings of security incidents in order to provoke anxiety and panic in the state.
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