In spite of the relative calm after the violence and looting across the country, some police personnel in Anambra State are afraid of returning to work because of the fear of attacks by hoodlums who inflicted mayhem on the population.
Mr John Abang, the Commissioner of Police in Anambra, made the revelation when he gave details of damage that the police suffered in the conflict in Awka on Wednesday.
Abang explained that hoodlums, who took advantage of the #EndSARS protests, were still on the trail of police personnel in the state and as such many still felt unsafe even at home.
Abang said the command lost four men, including a Divisional Police Officer (DPO), in violent attacks by hoodlums.
He said the hoodlums also burnt 11 police stations, vandalised six others and carted away motorcycles, ammunition and other valuables.
The commissioner said the hoodlums burnt 20 vehicles, including an Armoured Personnel Carrier and patrol vehicles.
“It is common knowledge that hoodlums acting under the guise of “ENDSARS” protest attacked police stations in some parts of the state which resulted in the loss of lives, looting and wanton destruction of properties.
“The hoodlums set ablaze 11 police stations, vandalised six, burnt over 20 vehicles, including patrol vans and exhibits, an Armoured Personnel Carrier; the police also lost some rifles during the attacks.
“In the course of these heinous acts, the hoodlums murdered four police officers, including the DPO of Osumenyi Division, CSP Akpan Joseph, ASP Agu Micheal, the Station Officer, and a young Police Corporal, Udegbunam Sunday Celestine, while leaving two others injured.
“In their state of callousness, the hoodlums also murdered and beheaded Insp. John Oche attached to the Anti-Cult Unit and burnt his body to ashes, parading the streets with the deceased policeman’s head,” he said.
Abang said the hoodlums also vandalised other private and public properties and looted the state Revenue House, OCHA Brigade office as well as private trucks loaded with goods.
He commended officers and men of the command for their gallantry in mitigating the loss of lives and property.
He said if the hoodlums had succeeded in executing their plans, Anambra State would have become the den of criminals.
The commissioner thanked Governor Willie Obiano, traditional rulers and town unions for their support for the police at this trying period and for their efforts in restoring peace in the state.
“Despite concerted efforts by the hoodlums to create a state of lawlessness in the state, the command stood its ground and repelled their attacks in various formations such as Area Command, Onitsha, Ogidi, Awada, CPS, Onitsha, Inland town and B Division.
“Meanwhile, in the course of the decisive action by the police,17 suspects were arrested in connection with the incidents with several exhibits, including one AK-47 rifle stolen from Ogbunike Division, which has been recovered by operatives of the command,” Abang said.
Of the 17 suspects, 10 are from Anambra State, three from Ebonyi and four from Abia State, he said, adding that the record contradicted claims of some authorities in the state that youths causing trouble in the state came from other states.