Visiting US consulate staff bypassed existing security architecture – Soludo

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Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo, the Anambra State Governor has expressed deep condolences to the bereaved families and organisations, particularly the US Embassy, over the death of their staff and policemen who were attacked by gunmen along Atani-Osamala Road, Ogbaru Local Government Area on Tuesday, while they were on a mission in the State.

In a statement by his Press Secretary, Christian Aburime, Soludo condemned the heinous and unprovoked attack.

He said “Over the last one year, we have worked very hard with our gallant security forces to massively degrade criminality and restore law and order. We can proudly assert that Anambra is currently one of the safest states in Nigeria.

“Only two weeks ago, the dreaded and notorious criminal gang leader operating mostly in a neighboring state was gunned down with four of his team members when they made incursion into Anambra and recovered huge deadly weapons. The criminals are largely on the run or feeling the heat of our zero tolerance to criminality.

“This incident in a remote riverine community in Ogbaru local government is a reminder that patches of these criminal gangs can still unleash senseless and murderous acts.

“Whatever the identity or motive of the attackers, Anambra State government will actively work with the security agencies to smoke out the criminals and bring them to justice.

“We call on anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of the criminals to offer same on our secured security phone numbers or to any of the security agencies and such informant will be handsomely rewarded. Investigations are underway.

“We assure our residents and visitors of our continued commitment to law and order. If anything, this incident has emboldened our drive.

“As the investigation continues, it is important to highlight an important preliminary takeaway from the facts so far. It is evident from reports by the various security agencies in the state that the visiting team made their own security arrangements and totally bypassed the existing security architecture in the state and the state government was not aware of the “humanitarian mission” of the visiting team.

“In a place like parts of Ogbaru where security forces have been fighting the criminals and oil bunkerers, the sight of few policemen can indeed attract vengeance from the criminal gangs. Correcting such lapses and ensuring better coordination will help prevent such avoidable incidents in the future.

“The Government of Anambra State once again, expresses its deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims. We reassure the United States Embassy in Nigeria of our unwavering commitment to the safety and security of its officials in our State.

“Together, we will prevail over those who seek to disrupt the peace and stability of our society”.