Gunmen have abducted a former member of the Anambra State House Assembly, Benson Nwawulu, in the Ihiala Local Government Area of the state. Mr Nwawulu was abducted from his house on Sunday. The lawmaker left the assembly in 2019 at the expiration of his tenure. He later contested for and lost an election for the House of Representatives. A family source said Mr Nwawulu’s son has contacted some members of the assembly, who are his father’s associates, for financial assistance. But it is not clear, for now, if his abductors have made contact with the family for ransom. When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident. He said the police were working hard to track down the suspects and free the former lawmaker.
“The command has since launched an operation aimed at rescuing the victim and arresting the abductors,” Mr Ikenga told Easterner, Wednesday night.
Security in Nigeria’s South-east has deteriorated lately with frequent attacks by armed persons across the region. Anambra State has witnessed some of the worst attacks in the region. The attacks often target security agencies, government officials and facilities. The latest incident comes about one month after gunmen abducted and then beheaded Nelson Achukwu, another former lawmaker in the Anambra State House of Assembly.Mr Achukwu, a physically-challenged person, was killed on 21 June, three weeks after his abduction from his house in Ukpor, a community in Nnewi South Local government Area of the state.
In May, gunmen abducted and then beheaded Okechukwu Okoye, a lawmaker representing Aguata 2 Constituency in the state assembly.Mr Okoye was killed on 21 May with his aide, Cyril Chiegboka, six days after they were abducted along Aguluzigbo Road, Anaocha Local Government Area of the state. Again, gunmen abducted Uzozie Chukwujekwu, a special adviser to a former chairman of Nnewi South Council Area and also shot his only son, just a few hours after the news of the beheading of Mr Okoye went public. In April, five wedding guests were abducted by gunmen in Akpo Community, Aguata Local Government Area of the state.
The Nigerian government has accused the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra of being responsible for the deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied their involvement in the attacks. The separatist group is leading the agitation for an independent state of Biafra which they want to be carved out from the South-east and some parts of South-south Nigeria. The leader of the secessionist group, Nnamdi Kanu, is detained in Abuja where he is facing trial for terrorism.