Men and women suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Anambra State protested against the governor Willie Obiano at St. Joseph Church, Ekwulobia moments after he made his way inside to worship.
According to Punch, the protesters were clad in Biafra insignia, chating: “No election in Anambra State. We want referendum. No referendum, no election.”
The governor’s security detail were reported to have promptly locked up the church gates, barring the protesters from entering.
A source who spoke to the press said the governor was eventually smuggled out of the church premises.
The source said: “As their confrontation with the police continued, the IPOB numbers continued to enlarge. I think they were reinforcing from Onitsha. As their number continued to increase, the governor’s security had to smuggle him out of the church.”
A member of Governor Obiano’s media crew however denied that the governor was smuggled out, insisting he waited until the church service was over, and even addressed the issue in church.
“The governor was not smuggled out of the church. The issue was that the security men had to stop the agitators at the gate of the church, when they started shouting ‘no election, no election.’
The governor even addressed the issue while speaking to the congregation. He assured them that there would be election in the state.
He said nobody could stop election in Anambra State. The governor said most of the anti- election protesters are not from Anambra State,” the aide said.
The Commissioner of Police in Anambra State Garba Umar confirmed the incident. He said:
You press people should report this. We will no longer tolerate this impunity from anybody.
Why should they protest to the church? The Church is a place of worship and not a place of protest. It is obvious that they had criminal intention to attack the governor.
The police had to stop them at the gate. If they had dared my men, it would have been a different story. We can’t watch anybody breach public peace in this state. They should be warned to desist from this impunity.