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Nigerians React After Attack On State-owned Media In Southeast Nigeria

The attack on the Anambra Broadcasting Service could hamper counter operative measures of the government against the separatist group in Anambra State.

Suspected separatist militants in Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria, have burnt two vehicles on the premises of Anambra Broadcasting Station (ABS) after they attacked the station in the early hours of Monday, May 30, in Idemili North Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

This is the first time a media outfit will come under attack in the Southeast region where members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed group, Eastern Security Network (ESN) have been wreaking havoc. 

Multiple sources said the attackers injured staff of the station though no life was reported lost. An official vehicle and an employee’s car were damaged and a building.

Tochukwu Ikenga, Police spokesperson in the state confirmed the attack in a statement made available to HumAngle.

According to Ikenga, the police got wind of the attack at about 4:30 a.m. and responded immediately, preventing “the hoodlums from causing damage to the structure.”

He said no lives were lost in the attack and that the police had sealed off the station while continuing operations in the area.

The state-owned ABS broadcast service consists of two radio stations and two television stations which cover the state and its environs.

Anambra State has witnessed a series of violent attacks linked with the proscribed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB).

Chukwuma Soludo, the Governor of Anambra had in a statewide broadcast on Friday, May 26, imposed a curfew on seven local governments of the state after the gruesome killing of a 39-year-old woman and her four children in Orumba Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

Nigerians on social media described the attack on the media arm of the government as scary and condemnable. 

A Twitter user by the name @ejikemekasassy2 also lamented what he called the “First attack on a media outlet in Anambra.”

Victor Emeka wondered the rationale behind the attack on the media house. “ Is this how to get Biafra or secure the release of Nnamdi Kanu?” Emeka asked. 

Another Twitter user, Olushola John, expressed sadness over what has become of Anambra State which he said he lived in for five years. “Each time I read about things happening in Anambra it saddens my heart. To think that this is the state I lived for 5 years and it’s all tales of woes now, is unfortunate.”

Although government structures and institutions such as police stations and election centres in Anambra and other states in the southeast have come under attack by armed gangs associated with IPOB, the attack on the Anambra Broadcasting Service is the first attack on the media, sparking feelings of fear as well as outrage amongst Nigerians on social media.

The separatist organisation, IPOB, which seeks the creation of an independent state of Biafra was declared a terrorist group in 2018 by the Nigerian government.

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the group was arrested in 2021 and was charged to court on charges of treasonable felony, possession of arms and illegal importation of broadcast equipment. 

The group has since then, imposed a sit-at-home order on the southeast region, and recently on the neighbouring South-South region, raising concerns among residents of the latter, owing to the violent nature employed by the group in enforcing the order.

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Chigozie Victor

Chigozie Victor is a journalist and a creative writer. Her work focuses on SGBV, policy and security infrastructure. The graduate of English and Literature from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka is passionate about helping audiences understand salient issues through clear reporting and multimedia journalism. She tweets at @nwaanyi_manaria

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