- Lists Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Cross River unsafe states
- Police link ESN, IPOB to US convoy attack in Anambra
The United Kingdom has cautioned its citizens from travelling to Anambra State, two days after four officials of the United States were killed by unknown gunmen in Ogbaru local government area of the state.
The UK issued the warning through a foreign travel advice service in a recent update on its website on Thursday.
Other states mentioned were Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Cross River.
The advice read, “The FCDO advise against all travel to the riverine areas (i.e. the river and swamp locations accessible by boat, but not by road) of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.
“The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to Abia State and non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers States and now also to Anambra State in the Ogbaru area, close to Delta state.
“This follows an attack on a US diplomatic convoy on 16 May 2023. The incident is under investigation.”
It added, “Secessionist groups are active in the South East and attacks and violent clashes often occur with the military and other security forces.
“Although foreign nationals are not normally targeted, there is a risk you could be caught in an attack. You should be alert to local government announcements and media reporting.”
Police link ESN, IPOB to US convoy attack in Anambra
However, the Anambra State Police command said on Thursday that officials from the Lagos Consulate of the United States of America and their police escorts were ambushed on 16/05/2023 between 12:00hours and 14:00hours, along Atani/Osamela road in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State by suspected Eastern Security Network/ Indigenous people of Braifa.
Ogbaru was one of the local government areas in Anambra State submerged during last year’s flood that eventually caused devastating erosion in most of the communities in the area.
Addressing reporters at the state Police headquarters in Awka, the Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng said information about the attack did not get to the command early.
Echeng said: “As you are probably aware, a team of officials from the Lagos Consulate of the United States of America and their police escorts (USA) were ambushed on 16/05/2023 between 12:00hours and 14:00hours, along Atani/Osamela road in Ogbaru Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra State by suspected Eastern Security Network ESN/ Indigenous people of Braifa, IPOB.
“Information about the incident was received by Anambra State Police Command, through an official of the consulate, at about 14:30 hours. “Consequently, a joint team of Mobile Policemen and troops of the Nigerian Navy stationed in Onitsha was immediately deployed to the area.
“Upon arrival at the scene of the incident, the joint security team sighted and engaged the assailants in a shoot-out but they escaped through a nearby forest.
“On Wednesday, joint security forces comprising police tactical teams from the command and troops of the Nigerian Army, as well as the Nigerian Navy raided a camp in Ogwuaneocha community of Ogbaru LGA, which was suspected to be the hideout of the assailants, but discovered that it had been deserted.
“Two persons of interest were arrested and they are currently assisting the police in the investigation. The criminal camp was razed down by the joint security team.
“The preliminary investigation conducted by the command, following the incident, revealed that five male officials of the USA consulate and four armed Mobile Police escorted from Lagos on a mission to assess the impact of erosion in Ogbaru LGA were travelling in a convoy of two vehicles when they suddenly came under attack by armed men who targeted them with gunfire and set their vehicles ablaze.
“Regrettably, seven persons (including three of the consulate officials and four Mobile Police escorts) were murdered during the attack while two other officials of the consulate are yet to be found.
“The deceased police officers include Inspector Bukar Adams, Inspector Friday Morgan, Inspector Adam Andrew and Inspector Emmanuel Lupata, all of Squadron 23, Police Mobile Force, Lagos. No USA citizen was amongst the casualties.
“Information from the USAID authority disclosed that five of their staff and four policemen were involved in the attack.
“They are Jefferson Obayuwane (Rtd DSS personnel), Sunday Prince Ubong, Ekene Nweke, Hassan Etila, Avwuvie Kaye Monday, Bukar . A. Kabuiki – (Police), Emmanuel Lukpata – (Police), Friday Morgan – (Police) and Adamu Andrew – (Police).”
The Commissioner of Police said the remains of the deceased persons have been recovered and deposited in a morgue, while the state police command and other security agencies are working round-the-clock, in concert with the Government of Anambra State, to find and rescue the missing officials.
He called on members of the public who can provide information about the identities and locations of the culprits, to kindly assist the police with such information timeously.
Echeng added: “On behalf of the Anambra State Police Command, I wish to seize this opportunity to condole the families and friends of the deceased persons, as well as the USA Consulate over this tragic incident.
“May I assure you all of the resolve and determination of the command and other security agencies to track down the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and bring them to justice.”