ANALYSIS: Has ‘unknown gunmen’ attacks ended in Anambra after guber poll?

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Two weeks after the Anambra governorship election, no incident of attacks on security formations and facilities have been recorded across the state.

Prior to the November 6 exercise, attacks often attributed to unknown gunmen occur on daily basis across the Igbo predominant area were secessionist agitations have been rife after Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) was mysteriously abducted from Kenya in June.

The unknown gunmen, according to state officials, are being described as the paramilitary arm of IPOB despite repeated denials by the group demanding for referendum which will obviously lead to the breakaway of the former Eastern region from the most populous country in Africa.

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The former region which comprises of present-day South-East and South-South geo-political zones saw increased attacks on security agencies and facilities after IPOB launched Eastern Security Network (ESN) with a mandate to go after violent herdsmen often indicted as arrowheads of insecurity in Southern Nigeria, according to the 17 Southern State governors.

As the Anambra gubernatorial election drew near, the attacks increased in the state with prominent Nigerians being killed. Often times, the gunmen shout at the top of their voices that no election will take place in the state if Mr Kanu detained by the State Security Service (SSS) is not freed.

POLITICALLY MOTIVATED?

Governor Willie Obiano had claimed intelligence report at his disposal indicated that the killings were politically motivated. The threat of emergence rule by the federal government through its Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, somehow laid credence to the claims of the outgoing state helmsman.

Many residents were of the opinion that the killings were state-sponsored to paint IPOB as a terrorist group which the federal government designated it in 2017.

The atmosphere became more tensed when IPOB which had also denied issuing the ‘no election’ order called for a week-long sit-at-home exercise to press home its demand for the release of its leader. The exercise often complied with was to begin a day before the guber election day but was finally cancelled, after intervention from stakeholders.

The election which began on Saturday was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday with a supplementary poll in Ihiala on Wednesday and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) which was leading expanded its numeric strength.

The ruling party trounced 17 other political parties to win, a feat that will widen its grip on the state to two decades if Charles Soludo is sworn on March next year.

Analysts attribute the peaceful election in the state to the increased deployment of security agencies. Over 50,000 security personnel from the police and civil defence were deployed. The number excludes those of the Nigerian Army and SSS which were also present in their thousands.

Since after the election, TODAY POLITICS observed that night life which was halted in most parts of the state has began returning with no report of killings recorded so far.

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