Labour Party, LP Presidential Candidate for the last 2023 general election, Peter Obi arrived Ihiala town, Anambra State at about 1:27pm on Thursday despite tension that the campaign venue may be invaded by unknown gunmen.
OsazuwaAkonedo had earlier reported that traders at the main market in Ihiala known as Nkwogbe scampered for safety around 11 a.m this morning when intelligent information filtered into the market that unknown gunmen may invade the campaign rally ground, Saint Martin’s Catholic Church School, located along Onitsha-Owerri road.
As at 4:38 pm, a check at the market shows all the traders vacated the market and ran home. The market and adjoining shops around were completely under lock and key.
It was gathered that the Helicopter conveying Peter Obi touched the campaign venue ground in Ihiala as at 1:27 pm with crowd of students and other residents rushed to welcome him.
Sources at the Nkwogbe market also said the traders decided to close shops and ran away to avoid Peter Obi visiting the market, adding, such visit to the market may angered unknown gunmen who have huge control and present in the local government area.
Peter Obi took more than one hour to exchange pleasantries with supporters and nursing students at the Saint Martin’s Catholic church school compound before leaving with no incident of attack.
Peter Obi maybe the first prominent politician to campaign in Ihiala since November 2021 after the Anambra State Governorship election, during which the unknown gunmen attacks prevented several political parties from holding rallies in Ihiala.
Prior to Peter Obi arrival at Ihiala, there have been silent war between young soldiers and the unknown gunmen in the area during the week.
Young soldiers on Tuesday begining around 9 a.m set ablaze some houses in Uli community in the Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Sources said the young soldiers burnt down family homes of people suspected to be members of the unknown gunmen.
According to the sources, one of the houses the young soldiers raised to dust close to borrow pit at Ammaputu quarters in Uli community, a border area between Oguta local government area in Imo State and Ihiala Local Government Area in Anambra State on Tuesday was owned by the father of one of the suspected members of the unknown gunmen group, after the young soldiers had arrested the suspect among others in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Residents at Uli Centre along Onitsha-Owerri road said they saw a lot of young men being arrested and overloaded like non perishable goods at the back of Hilux vans along the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University road on Tuesday morning.
It could not be ascertained if students of the Anambra State University renamed Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University were among those arrested.
It was learnt that the unknown gunmen in the evening of Tuesday came out of their camps and retaliated the action of the young soldiers by killing two persons at Eziama community in the Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State suspected to be informants helping the young soldiers in the area.
Unconfirmed reports indicated that while the young soldiers were patrolling around Amorka community in the Ihiala Local Government Area on Tuesday, some civilians came out from the Armoured Personnel Carrier, APC. The reports indicated that one of the civilians may be among those killed by unknown gunmen at Eziama in the late hours of Tuesday in which the body was set ablaze.