There was a heavy shootout on Tuesday morning between some Navy officers and gunmen at Amiyi junction, Ochuche Community, Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria’s South-east.
The shootout lasted for hours as frightened residents scampered for safety, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
Sources said many transport operators who had rushed out early morning to make up for the Monday-sit-at-home order were compelled to return home to avoid being caught by stray bullets.
“Gunmen and Navy people are shooting since morning,” said Amaka Okafor, a resident of the area. “We are scared.”
Ms Okafor said residents, frightened by the gunshot sound, were forced to remain indoors.
The police spokesperson in Anambra State, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident
Mr Ikenga said the naval officers accosted the gunmen while they were obstructing and harassing innocent road users and residents who were going about their businesses in the area.
“The operatives stood firm (and) engaged the hoodlums which made them flee from the scene,” he said.
The police spokesperson said patrol has been intensified in the area.
Security in Nigeria’s South-east has deteriorated in recent times, with frequent attacks by armed persons.
Anambra State has witnessed some of the worst attacks in the region, despite Governor Charles Soludo’s effort to placate members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), including a visit to the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in detention.
The attacks often target security agencies, government officials and facilities.
During his inauguration as the state governor, Mr Soludo had called for dialogue with the IPOB and similar groups.
The governor, thereafter, announced an amnesty programme for the gunmen and declared an end to the sit-at-home order in the state.