Unknown gunmen, on Tuesday, attacked the venue of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The gunmen, who stormed Odoata Primary School on various motorcycles and in three vehicles, were however overpowered by security personnel.
A combined team of policemen and soldiers repelled the attack.
A source explained that the gunmen were unable to withstand the superior firepower of the soldiers and police officers and quickly ran into the premises of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital which is directly opposite the campaign ground.
He said, “They arrived on various motorcycles and in three vehicles, namely, a Toyota Lexus 350 ES with registration number EKY 765 EX, Toyota RAV4 with number JJJ 434FP and a Ford van which caught fire during the exchange of bullets between the gun men and security forces.
“The gunmen suffered serious injuries, even though they managed to shoot a gallant soldier.
“If the gunmen had not run into the hospital which is a very delicate place to shoot any person, the security men would have gunned all of them down.”
Security forces, which recovered all three vehicles and motorcycles used by the gunmen, were searching the area by the time this report was filed.
The Anambra State Police Command has requested the people in the area to help look out for people with gunshots and report them.
It has also asked hospitals and other health facilities in both Ihiala Local Government Area and neighbouring communities in Imo State to report patients with gunshot wounds to security agencies.
Meanwhile, Governor Willie Obiano has commended police officers and soldiers who repelled the attack for their gallantry.
Speaking to journalists at Atani in Ogbaru Local Government Area, Obiano described the response of the security men as professional and patriotic.
In the same vein, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, the APGA candidate for the November 6 governorship election, lauded the security forces for bravery.
“These security men and women in Aambra State lay down their lives for us and they do their best because of the encouragement they receive from the security-conscious state government, among other factors.
“We expect more professional exhibition as days go by and the election date approaches,” Soludo said.
The APGA candidate expressed sympathy for innocent victims of the attack, pleading with every aggrieved person “to lay down his or her weapon and opt for dialogue to resolve all differences in the interest of our people”.
The security forces were said to have recovered one Ak-47 rifle, two magazines with 30 rounds of ammunition and a Toyota Hilux vehicle.
Normalcy has since returned to the area.