-Security operatives only came hour after robbery -Vilagers
Troops conducting Exercise Golden Dawn, Sector 3 said that they foiled an attempted to kidnap Most Reverend Augustine Ukwuoma at the Orlu Diocesan Catholic Secretariat.
This is according to a statement on Sunday by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu.
The release stated that the troops, in response to a distress call at about 2:30am on Sunday, were said to have swiftly moved to the scene, forcing the assailants to take to their heels while abandoning their mission.
“The bishop, his secretary, and assistant secretary are safe and unhurt,” General Nwachukwu stated.
He assured residents that troops would continue to deny freedom of action to members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) and other criminal gangs operating within the sector, especially as the election in Anambra State draws nearer and during the yuletide season.
The army spokesman urged members of the public to report the suspicious movement of criminals, as well as hideouts of the outlawed IPOB/ESN to law enforcement agencies.
According to him, the group is only out to intimidate, steal, and kidnap law-abiding citizens for ransom.
Contrary to the report by the Army,a catholic priest said to be an eye witness to the sad development who pleaded anonymity disclosed that what they experienced was Robbery as the assailants never exhibited any act signalling attempt to kidnap or harm the Bishop.
According to the priest, the men of underword had already left the scene, an hour before the Army showed up.He stated that,”the Bishop whose phones were stolen is surprised that the report has gone viral with different versions by sections of the media”.
Speaking further, the catholic priest narrated that that the thieves had jumped through the fence at the backyard and gained entrance to the Bishop’s house while the security personnel of the church were busy manning the main gate , unknown to them that thieves were at the Bishop’s lodge.”When those who saw them attempted to raise alarm, they cautioned them and broke into Bishop’s bedroom through the ceiling and carted away some valuables, including his phones”.
When contacted, the president of Orlu Town development Union,OTDU, Hon Eddy Olumba popularly known as Mr E confirmed the report but stated that those who invaded the Bishop’s lodge were thieves.He condemned their action, describing same as sacrilegeous.
When asked how peaceful Orlu community is, the former LGA chairman said Orlu community has always been peaceful apart from pockets of stealing which is common with other areas of the state and Nigeria at large.He assured that the community their local security arrangement will continue to be peaceful.