Less than 24 hours after a masked gang attacked Charles Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), at a town hall meeting in his native town in Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria, Police in the state said they have arrested one suspect in connection with the attack.
Ikenga Tochukwum, the police spokesperson in the state, confirmed this in a statement on Thursday. But the statement by the police did not provide details of the arrest of the suspect.
When contacted by HumAngle on the phone, Tochukwum said the investigation was still underway.
On Wednesday, Soludo was attacked during a town hall meeting with youths in Isuofia, Aguata Local Government Area of the state.
Three police orderlies attached to the former CBN governor were killed by the attackers suspected to be members of an armed group that has been attacking police officers in the Southeast in recent times.
The assailants also abducted Emeka Ezenwanne, Anambra State Commissioner for Public and Utilities.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack on Soludo who is running for governorship in the upcoming Nov. 6 election in the state.
It was not immediately clear if the murder attempt had anything to do with Soludo’s candidacy.
But following the incident, Monday Kuryas, the Commissioner of Police in Anambra, led a team of police officers for an on-the-spot assessment.
During the hunt for the assailants, the police spokesperson said they had nabbed an unnamed person on suspicion of involvement in the attack and the murder of the three officers.
Meanwhile, Kuryas has condemned the incident, and commiserated with families of the slain officers “who paid the supreme price.”
The incident is the latest in a spate of attacks on security agents in the Southern part of the country.
Between 2015-2021, every state in Nigeria has recorded a case of police fatality resulting from an attack on their station or at the discharge of their duties, according to Lagos-based security group, SBM Intelligence.
The intelligence platform said no fewer than 497 police officers were killed in the period under review, with the Southeast region accounting for about 270 deaths.
Earlier in March, armed men attacked a bus conveying some suspects to court in Soludo’s local government area and killed two persons including a prison warder.
Frank Mba, Force Public Relations Officer, said the attack was allegedly carried out by some members of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN).
They were apprehended on Sunday, March 28.
In January, HumAngle noted the gradual build of tension and violent confrontation between separatists and security forces and IPOB exploitation of deepening social grievances, perceived marginalisation and deterioration of economic opportunities in the Southeast.
From indications, the growing crisis requires intelligence-based security interventions and efforts to address the underlying stressors sustaining the agitation.