Nigeria’s South-East has been on a violent radar since the official declaration of self-rule by the country’s most prominent separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB). Led by a British-Nigerian political activist, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the group on December 13, 2020, announced the formation of a new security outfit known as the ‘Eastern Security Network (ESN).’ The ESN has as part of its objectives to protect the people and properties of easterners from killer-herdsmen.
Soon after its formation the five governors in the region formed a counter regional security outfit called ‘Ebube-Agu.’ The formation of the two groups was later heralded by bombing campaigns that targets security and governance infrastructures. The attacks specifically targets police stations, security checkpoints, prison, judiciary and offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The first bombing of security infrastructure occurred on January 8, 2021, days after the formation of the ESN. The attacks which have claimed not less than 84 lives of security personnel serving in the region have been attributed to the ESN by the Nigerian federal government. However the ESN has consistently denied the attribution, instead accusing security agencies of instigating the attacks through foreign mercenaries in order to discredit the group. The two year bombing campaign has also heightened security concerns for the 2023 elections within the south-east and other regions.
In 2021 alone, ten INEC offices were bombed by the ‘Unknown Gun-Men’ across the five states in the region. Similarly, in 2022 and 2023, eight and five INEC offices were bombed respectively. In most cases the bombers had always left a trail of short videos where they’re seen chanting “no election in Biafra land.”The bombings in the region and other targeted attacks on election infrastructure in other regions have sparked national conversations on the safety of election officials and voters on election-day. The conversations are also in line with worries emanating from other conflict drivers that contribute to the perennial volatility of elections in Nigeria. Currently election security watchers have listed 22 states with high election security risk. At a special event convened to present their ‘Election Manipulation Risk Index (EMRI)’ report, a coalition of 10 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) designated Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Kwara, Niger, Plateau, Taraba, Kaduna, Bauchi, Adamawa, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Jigawa as states with high election security risks. The report according to the EMRI highlights the states according to the risk manipulation, using a ranking system based on the prevalence of election manipulation indicators divided into: high risk, medium risk, and low-risk states. Nigeria’s leading election security risk actors, includes both state and non-state actors. Specifically they include: youths, politicians, and security agents. Election security risks generally manifests in policy and physical violence. Highlights of physical violence include targeted assassination of political opponents, maiming, arson, electoral process disruption and election-day killings.
However, the volatility of the 2023 elections has been further exacerbated by the general worsening insecurity challenges in other parts of the country. The heightening banditry and terrorism challenges in the north and the unabated kidnap of citizens by criminal gangs across the country continue to put the preparations of INEC in jeopardy. Beyond the south-east, the south-south which is the immediate neighboring region also face a growing challenge of cultism, sea robbery, and oil theft which threatens Nigeria’s social security.
In early January, 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had warned that if nothing was done to curb the growing insecurity in the country, the commission may be forced to postpone or cancel elections in some parts of the country. The commission’s Chairman, Mr. Mahmood Yakubu, further warned that the cancellation or postponement of elections in any part of the country due to prevailing security challenges may hinder the declaration of election results. This he said may precipitate constitutional crisis that may further plunge the nation into needless unrest. However days after the warning the attacks remain unabated. For instance, three days after the commission raised the alarm, gun men attacked the commission’s office in Ihiala LGA, Anambra State. This was followed by another attack against the Enugu South Local Government Area office on January 15, 2023, killing a police officer.
In line with the dangerous implications of these threats on the 2023 electoral process, the African Centre for Media, Governance and Peacebuilding (ACMGP) did a chronicle of the bombing campaigns against security agencies and the nation’s electoral and democratic infrastructures in the region. The threats which are captured with details of dates and locations of occurrence; dates back to 2021 when the real bombing campaign started.
Timeline of Bombing Campaigns
January 8, 2021 Attack on Onueke Police Station, Ezza South LGA, Ebonyi State
1. Gunmen on January 8, 2021, attacked the Onueke Police Station in Ezza South Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, killing three police officers; two others sustained bullet wounds. The police spokesperson in the state, Loveth Odah, confirmed the incident.
She said the corpses of the slain officers had been deposited in a mortuary while the two who sustained bullet wounds received treatment. Ms Odah urged the public to provide the police with information that could lead to the arrest of the attackers.“Yes, three policemen were killed in the attack. We don’t know the identity of the attackers yet; and we are calling on the general public to provide information to the police in order to hunt down the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” Ms Odah said.
January 10, 2021 Attack and killing of three Police Attaches in Ughelli, Delta State
2. Unknown gunmen killed three policemen in Ughelli area of Delta State. The police officers were identified as Insp. Simon Madaki, Insp. Mutari Lawal and Sgt. Adamu Ibraham. They were transferred from Mopol 47, Zaria in Kaduna a year ago. The cops, according to a source, were taken unawares at a popular fast food joint in Ughelli, known as Wakyz, where they provided security. They were shot at close range. The Delta State police spokesperson, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, who confirmed the incident, said the police had launched investigation into the matter, but provided no further information.
January 23, 2021 Attack on Police State in Aba, Abia State
3. On January 23, 2021, two policemen were killed after gunmen invaded a police station in Aba. The attackers remain at large.
February 1, 2021 – Attack on Umuoba Police Station Abia State
4. Some gunmen on February 1, 2021, attacked Umuoba Police Station in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area, Abia state and killed a police inspector. The gunmen razed the station, burnt down police operational vehicles, and carted away arms and ammunition.
February 23, 2021 -Attack on Abayi Police Station, Aba, Abia State
5. Gunmen razed a part of the Abayi station, Aba, Abia State and killed two police officers. The attackers burnt down police operational vehicles, and stole weapons. Two police officers reportedly lost their lives in the attack that took place in the early hours of Tuesday, February 23, 2021. The gunmen also carted away arms and ammunition from the station. The Commissioner for Information in the state, John Okiyi Kalu, who confirmed the incident, said the state government was offering N1 million reward to anyone with useful information that could lead to the arrest of the gunmen. Mr. Mba, a commissioner of police, said the police were able to kill four of the gunmen and also recovered some arms and ammunition. He said the gunmen, about 200, were armed with AK47 rifles and machetes, including petrol bombs and other explosives.
March 1, 2021 – Attack on Iboko Police Station Izzi Ebonyi State
6. Some gunmen in the early hours of Monday attacked the Iboko Police Station in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The Police Commissioner in Ebonyi State, Aliyu Garba, confirmed the incident. He said: “Yes they attacked the station around 1a.m. but there were no casualties. They threw improvised fire bomb at the station and it ignited but it only affected a small part of the building.”
March 9, 2021 – Attack on Ishinweke Police Station Ihitte/Uboama Imo State
7. Some angry mob attacked and set ablaze the Ishinweke police station in Ihitte/Uboama Local Government Area of Imo State. The mobs, who were protesting the alleged killing of two siblings in their house by the police, also set vehicles and other police properties ablaze.
March 19, 2021 – Attack on Ekwulobia Police Station Aguata Anambra State
8. Gunmen attacked Ekwulobia police station in Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State on March 19, 2021. The attack which occurred at about 4:30am resulted in the killing of one police officer.
March 19, 2021 – Attack on Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) Ekwulobia, Anambra State
9. Barely few hours after an attack on the Ekwulobia police station, gunmen in a separate attack, killed two officials of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS). Eye witness reports indicated that the officials were killed at about 11am when the gunmen attacked a prison vehicle conveying some inmates from the Ekwulobia police station to court. The eye witness report said: “There was another attack on the same police station Ekwulobia around 11am. The attack was on a prison bus that was going to the police station. “Two people were killed in the bus and it appeared the attackers were following the bus. So as the bus reached the police station, the gunmen opened fire on them, killing one woman and a man wearing prison uniforms.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Ikenga Toochukwu, confirmed the Ekwulobia attack and stated that efforts by the gunmen to burn down the recently rebuilt police station were repelled by the policemen on ground.
March 20, 2021 – Attack on Divisional Police Headquarters Umuelemai Imo State
10. Unknown gunmen on March 20, 2021, attacked the Divisional Police Headquarters in Umuelemai in Isiala Mbano local government Area of Imo State. The attack which happened around 07:56 pm was carried out by armed men whom eyewitnesses said wore red barrettes and black attire while others wore jean trousers.
March 22, 2021 – Attack on Police Checkpoint in Agu Eze Amaogudu , Abiriba, Ohafia Abia State
11. Three police officers were killed on Monday, March 22, 2021, by unknown gunmen while on a ‘stop and search’ operation in Agu Eze Amaogudu , Abiriba, Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State. The gunmen were said to have ambushed them and carted away their rifles not long after they arrived in the town for a routine operation. The late officers were identified as Inspector Austin Ugwu, Inspector Longinus Ugochukwu, PC Ama Ifeanyi. In his reaction to the incident, the State’s Deputy Governor, Sir Oko Chukwu, said “the government is saddened by the unfortunate attack of this morning which led to the loss of lives of police officers at Agu Eze checkpoint and my boss, Governor Ikpeazu, on receiving the news asked me to come here and assure you that we will do everything possible to apprehend the perpetrators of the dastardly act and protect Ndi Abiriba and all law abiding people in the state.
March 31, 2021 -Attack on Police Officers in Isuofia, Aguata, Anambra State
12. On March 31, 2021, unknown gunmen killed three police officers attached to former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Professor Charles Soludo during a civic event in Isuofia, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. An eyewitness said: “A couple of minutes ago, unknown gunmen disrupted an interactive session between Isuofia youths and a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof Chukwuma Soludo at the town’s civic centre.“Three policemen were reportedly shot dead in meeting.”
April 5, 2021 – Attack on Police Command Headquarters and NCS Owerri, Imo State
13. On April 5, armed men attacked the headquarters of the Imo state police command and a correctional facility in Owerri, capital city of Imo State, and freed over 1,800 inmates
April 6, 2021 – Attack on Divisional Police Headquarters Ehime Mbano, Imo State
14. Gunmen razed the Divisional Police Headquarters in Ehime Mbano LGA in Imo on April 6, 2021. At least four vehicles were burnt.
April 6, 2021 – Attack on Ugbodo Police Station Ebonyi State
15. The same day, the Police in Ebonyi repelled an attack by gunmen on the Ugbodo Police Station in Ebonyi State. One of the assailants was killed.
April 8, 2021 – Attack on Mbieri Divisional Police Headquarters, Mbaitoli, Imo State
16. On April 8, gunmen attacked the Mbieri Divisional Police Headquarters in Mbaitoli LGA in Imo, and freed inmates.
April 14, 2021 – Attack on Safer Highway Patrol team Ebonyi State
17. Three policemen attached to the Safer Highway Patrol team in Ebonyi State were killed in an attack at Ogoja/Abakaliki Express road by Nwaezenyi junction on April 14, 2021. The attackers, who disguised as a burial party, opened fire when stopped for a check.
April 19, 2021 – Attack on Zone 13 Police Headquarters, Ukpor, Dunukofia, Anambra State
18. Gunmen, numbering over 20, on April 19, 2021 attacked the Zone 13 police headquarters in Ukpor, Dunukofia Local Government Area, Anambra State. But no casualty was recorded, a spokesman for the police said. Geoffrey Ogbonna, the spokesman for the police in Anambra, told reporters in the state capital Awka on Monday that the gunmen struck early in the morning, but were repelled by policemen on duty.
April 25, 2021 – Attack on Police, JTF, Customs Security Checkpoints Ikwerre, Isiokpo, Rivers State
19. On April 25, 2021, 70 gunmen raided security checkpoints along Port Harcourt-Owerri Road, in Ikwerre Local Government Area, killing eight security operatives and carting away their rifles. It was gathered that the gunmen, who started their operations around 8pm, attacked four checkpoints from Elele to Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Rivers State. Out of the eight security personnel killed, three were military personnel, three Customs officials and two policemen. Some were reportedly beheaded while others were burnt beyond recognition. One of the checkpoints located along Airport Road Omagwa, belonged to the Joint Task Force (JTF) and was manned by nine policemen and two soldiers. It was gathered two burnt corpses of security operatives were later recovered at the JTF checkpoint, which was scattered and burnt by the gunmen. The gunmen, according to the report, later invaded a checkpoint of the Nigeria Customs Service at Isiokpo killing three customs officials.
April 25, 2021 – Attack on Police Area Command Isiokpo, Rivers State
20. On April 25, 2021, the same night some unknown gunmen carried out an unsuccessful attack on the Police Area Command at Isiokpo, in Isiokpo Local Government Area, Rivers State. The attack which was repelled by police officers on duty was said to have been allegedly carried out by the same gunmen responsible for the attack on security checkpoints.
April 26, 2021 – Attack on Okigwe South Zonal Area Command Headquarters, Ehime-Mbano, Imo State
21. At least five policemen were killed after gunmen attacked the Okigwe South Zonal Area Command in Ehime-Mbano Council Area in Imo State. A gun battle erupted after unidentified attackers broke into the police station and freed some inmates. “Five officers have been killed, while one is yet to be accounted for,” said Orlando Ikeokwu, the Police Public Relations Officer, in a statement. The gunmen also abducted one officer during the attack. A witness said the gunmen broke into the police facility, took over the armory and freed detainees at the station. Some police officers who attempted to repel the gunmen were overrun, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported.
May 1, 2021 Attack on Abaomege Police State, Onicha LGA, Ebonyi State
22. Gunmen on Saturday attacked Abaomege police station in Onicha LGA of Ebonyi state A police officer on duty during the attack was reportedly injured and has been hospitalised, another officer has been declared missing. Residents in the area said the gunmen attacked the station around 8 pm. A technical assistant to David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi, confirmed the attack to journalists, saying the injured officer had been taken to an undisclosed hospital in Abakaliki, Ebonyi’s capital, for treatment.
“The gunmen attacked the Abaomege Police Station Saturday evening. No report of casualty for now. But one policeman is said to be missing while another officer sustained serious injury. But he has been rushed to hospital in Abakaliki for treatment,” the official said.
May 2, 2021 – Attack on INEC Office Essien Udim Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State
23. On Sunday, May 2, 2021, one of its offices in Akwa Ibom State was set ablaze by unknown persons. This was announced by Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee in a statement titled ‘INEC Local Government Area Office in Akwa Ibom State set ablaze’. According to the statement, the incident happened at INEC’s office in the Essien Udim Local Government Area in the state and many ballot boxes and other electoral materials were destroyed. “The incident occurred in the early hours of this morning, Sunday, May 2, 2021. Our security guard on duty escaped unhurt but the destruction to the building and properties therein was extensive. Items destroyed include 345 ballot boxes, 135 voting cubicles, mega phones, water tanks and office furniture.
May 5, 2021 Attack on Obosi, Idemili North LGA, Anambra State
24. Gunmen on May 5, 2021, attacked a police station in Obosi, in the Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State. Two policemen were killed in the mayhem, while several buildings at the station were torched. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Ikenga Tochukwu, confirmed the incident, adding that the command was on top of the situation. He said the state Commissioner of Police, Chris Owolabi, had dispatched a tactical team to the scene. Ikenga, who noted that the bodies of the two slain policemen had been deposited in a morgue, said investigation had commenced.
May 6, 2021 Attack on Obiozara Police Station, Ohaozara LGA, Ebonyi State
25. A police officer was killed by gunmen on May 6, 2021, when they invaded a police facility in Obiozara, Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The gunmen were said to have invaded the station around 3 am, and burnt the office of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and the administrative building, Premium Times reports. It was learnt that the facility was put up as a temporary police station after the permanent one was burnt down during last year’s EndSARS protests against police brutality. Police spokesperson in the state, Loveth Odah, confirmed the attack.
May 7, 2021 – Attack on Imo State Police Command Headquarters
26. Eight gunmen were killed on May 7, 2021, in a joint operation by soldiers and the Imo State Police Command after the gunmen reportedly made attempt to attack the Headquarters of the Divisional Police Headquarters in Orlu Local Government Area. The gunmen were reported to have hijacked some cars from their owners which they used for their operation. Confirming the incident, the Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Orlando Ikeogwu said the gunmen were resisted after a gun battle that lasted several hours.
May 7, 2021 – Attack on Rumuji Police Divisional Headquarters in Emohua and Elimgbu Police Station, Obio/Akpor, Rivers State
27. On May 7, 2021, seven police officers were killed by unidentified gunmen in an attack on ‘Rumuji Police Divisional Headquarters in Emohua and Elimgbu Police Station in Obio/Akpor LGA. The gunmen burnt patrol vehicles and carted away over eight rifles belonging to the police. A police source said the hoodlums wore mobile police uniforms. A police source said an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, and an Inspector were killed at the C4i Checkpoint in Emohua. Two AK47 rifles were said to have been snatched from them while a patrol van was set ablaze. The Police Public Relations Officer of the Command, SP. Nnamdi Omoni, in a statement, read: “The Rivers State Police Command can confirm the unprovoked and mindless attack on policemen and vehicles. “A similar attack was launched at Rumuji Police Station by the same hoodlums who killed two police men on duty and burnt a patrol vehicle.
May 7, 2021 Attack on Choba Bridge Police Checkpoint, Emohua LGA, Rivers State
28. On May 7, 2021, unknown gunmen attacked a special police checkpoint at the popular Choba Bridge in Emohua Local Government Area, killing two police officers and setting ablaze a private car owned by one of the police officers killed. The attack which was described by police authorities as a ‘surprise attack,’ happened at 20.30hrs. In a statement by the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Nnamdi Omoni said: “The incident… occurred last night at about 2030hrs, where unknown gunmen driven in two branded Hilux vans, attacked the special check point at Choba Bridge, where in a surprised attack, killed two policemen on duty and set ablaze a private car belonging to one of the policemen.
May 8, 2021 – Attack on Divisional Police Headquarters, Odoro Ikpe, Ini, Akwa Ibom
29. On May 8, 2021, five police personnel and a wife of one of the slain officers were killed in Akwa Ibom State, by gunmen during an attack on the Divisional Police Headquarters at Odoro Ikpe in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom. The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, of Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Mr. Odiko MacDon, who confirmed the attack said he was at the scene of the incident for an on-the spot assessment. “Yes, there was an attack at the Divisional Police Headquarters, Odoro Ikpe, in Ini Local Government Area. Six persons including five officers and a wife of an officer were killed. I am at the station as we speak,”
May 9, 2021 Attack on Ike Okiro Police Divisional Headquarters, Trademore Estate, Umuahia, Abia State
29. On Sunday May 9, 2021, the Mike Okiro Police Divisional Headquarters at the Trademore Estate in Umuahia, the Abia State, came under attack by hoodlums. Police authorities as at the time of this assessment, were yet to identify or apprehend the attackers. In another attack on the same day, the police station at Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area in Anambra State was also attacked by gunmen. However the attack was repelled by officers on duty.
May 9, 2021 Attack on INEC Office, Ohaifia LGA, Abia State
30. On May 9, 2021, some unidentified arsonists attacked and burnt down the INEC office in Ohafia Local Government Area. The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Joseph Iloh informed that electoral materials were destroyed in the latest attack on the commission. Dr Joseph also reported that the office was recently renovated by the commission. No member of staff was injured as a result of the incident, but the building was completely destroyed. He said “Apart from furniture items, all electoral materials and office equipment were destroyed,” INEC said.
May 9, 2021 Attack on Police Officer in Essien Udim LGA, Akwa Ibom State
31. On May 9, 2021, a Police Officer who was on his way to his beat was attacked and killed by unknown gunmen in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state. The police spokesperson in the state, Odiko MacDon, identified the slain officer as Obadia Eli, who was attached to MOPOL 57 Ukana.The officer was on his way to his beat when he was accosted and killed by the hoodlums, Mr MacDon, a superintendent of police, said in a statement on Monday.
May 12, 2021 – Attack on Police Divisional Headquarters, Bende, Abia State
32. On May 12, 2021, the Police Divisional Headquarters in Bende Local Government Area, Abia State was also attacked. Some unidentified gunmen in a large number were said to have attacked the police station in the night and set it on fire. During the incident, two policemen were injured but were taken to a hospital for medical attention, and the police command vowed not to rest on its oars until it has fished out the perpetrators.
May 12, 2021 – Attack on Etim Ekpo Police Area Command, Akwa Ibom
33. Akwa-Ibom, one police officer, Edogi Bassey, was been killed in the early hours of May 12, 2021 as gunmen attacked two police stations in the state. Police public relations officer in the state, Odiko Macdon confirmed the incident to Channels Television in Uyo, adding that the officer was killed after the gunmen attacked Etim Ekpo area command and set ablaze a portion of the police station
May 13, 2021 – Attack on INEC Office, Udenu LGA, Enugu State
34. Some hoodlums on May 13, 2021, attacked INEC office in Obollo-Afor, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State late on Thursday, May 13. INEC in a statement released after the incident said “The latest destruction of the commission’s physical infrastructure and electoral facilities in Enugu State calls for an immediate review of the measures necessary to secure INEC’s assets across the states,” INEC said on Friday.
May 16, 2021 – Attack on Nsukwa Divisional Police Station, Aniocha South, Delta State
35. On May 16, 2021, gunmen attacked the Nsukwa Divisional Police Station in Aniocha South Local Government Area (LGA) of Delta State, killing three unidentified police officers and one inmate. Senior officers of the Nigeria Police Force led by the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 5, Isaac Akinmoyede, accompanied by the Commissioner of Police in Delta, Ari Muhammad, visited the scene to ascertain the level of destruction.
May 16, 2021 – Attack on Enugu INEC Headquarters, Enugu State
36. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday, May 16, 2021, suffered another attack on its facilities as hoodlums invaded its Enugu headquarters at Independence Layout and set its properties on fire. The attack which occurred around 9:00 pm was reportedly done by persons numbering about 20 and happened four days after the office of the commission in Udenu local government council was set ablaze. Like in the case of Udenu, those who carried out the Enugu attack were neither arrested nor known. They escaped before help could come the way of the commission.
May 17, 2021 – Attack on Apumiri Ubakala Police Station, Umuahia South, Abia State
37. No fewer than two police officers have been killed following an attack on the Apumiri Ubakala Police Station in Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State. It was gathered that the gunmen who stormed the police facility in the early hours of May 17, 2021, razed down the station and burnt some vehicles. The incident lasted for about an hour.
May 19, 2021 Attack on INEC Office in Ezza North and Izzi local Government Areas, Ebonyi State
38. Some unknown persons in the early hours of Wednesday attacked and set ablaze two offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ebonyi State, Nigeria’s South-east. The offices are located at Ezza North and Izzi local government areas of the state. The attack occurred on Wednesday, 19, 2021. INEC spokesperson in Ebonyi State, Cornelius Ali, confirmed the attack to reporters in Abakaliki. “Early this morning, we got a report that some persons have attacked and set our local government area offices in Ezza North and Izzi LGAs ablaze, destroying valuables belonging to the commission. “When we got there, we saw that buildings housing our offices have been razed while generators, cubicles and other INEC materials in these offices have been completely destroyed,” Ali said.
May 21, 2021 Attack and killing of a Police Attaché on Mission Road, Umuhia, Abia State
39. A police Officer attached to a Chinese was shot dead alongside the driver of the Chinese on May 21, 2021, the Punch reported. The incident was said to have occurred on Friday in Umuahia, the state capital. An eyewitness said the incident happened on Mission Hill Road at a spot where the office of the Nigeria Correctional Service is located. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed the incident.
May 22, 2021 – Attack on Ugbuodo Police Divisional Headquarters, Ebonyi State
40. Gunmen on May 22, 2021, launched an attack on Ugbuodo Police Divisional Headquarters in Ebonyi State, killing one officer in the process. Loveth Odah, the police spokesperson, said the incident occurred at Ugbuodo divisional headquarters in Ebonyi LGA of the state. According to NAN, Odah said about 20 gunmen attacked the station around midnight on Sunday and shot at the policemen on duty. She said the policemen, however, repelled the attack and killed one of the attackers in the process. “At 1200hrs of Sunday, hoodlums, numbering about 20 in a Mitsubishi L300 Bus, and some others on foot, came in through the back fence and attacked one of our divisions at Ugbuodo Divisional Headquarters in Ebonyi Local Government Area of the state,” she said.
May 23, 2021 Attack on INEC State Office in Anambra State
41. Gunmen attacked Anambra State headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the State capital on Sunday night. The attackers it was said came with three Hilux vans and burnt seven operational Toyota Hilux vans belonging INEC collation centre and a store containing over 100 generating sets. The Anambra State Police Commissioner, CP Chris Owolabi, who later visited the INEC office to inspect the affected facility, said the police registered over 98 percent success in combating the attackers. He said “I can tell you that we recorded about 98 percent success. There were no casualties on the part of the police. I want to appeal to journalists to report carefully because we read where people reported that scores of policemen was killed.
May 23, 2021 Attack on Police B Division, Awka Anambra State
42. Gunmen attacked Anambra State B-Division in Awka, Anambra State on May 23, 2021. According to sources, the attack lasted for about one hour before the police finally subdued them. “They shot for more than 30 minutes at B-Division before leaving. They then stopped at Ekwueme Square and shot for about 10 minutes before proceeding to the INEC Office where we battled them for about one hour and subdued them,” the source said. The Police Commissioner who confirmed the incident said “The hoodlums first went to “B” division police station and were repelled. Then they came to INEC and our men repelled them, too. “Since last night, we have been moving from hospital to hospital, because we are sure some of the attackers escaped with serious wound. We are appealing to hospital management to help us track them.
May 23, 2021 Attack on INEC office, Igboeze South Local Council Area, Enugu State
43. Another office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Igboeze South Council Area of Enugu State was burnt down on May 23, 2021, by hoodlums. It was learnt that the office situated at Ibeagwa town, was attacked Sunday night by invaders who set the fire at about 11 pm. However, Enugu State Chief Fire Officer, Engr. Okwudili Ohaa confirmed the incident to newsmen. According to Ohaa, “There was a fire outbreak at INEC Office, Ibeagwa in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area late last night.
May 25, 2021; Attack on Orji Divisional Police Headquarters, Owerri, Imo State
44. On May 25, 2021, gunmen set ablaze Orji Divisional Police Headquarters situated along Owerri-Okigwe Road, Owerri, Imo State. Eye witnesses’ account stated that security operatives made up of soldiers, policemen and men of the Air Force engaged the hoodlums in gun battle. They said the gunmen numbering over 10 attacked the police station after blocking the expressway with their vehicles. The police spokesperson in the state, Bala Elkana, who confirmed the incident said, the state command had arrested five suspects in connection with the attack.
May 25, 2021; Attack on Iwollo Police Station, Ezeagu LGA, Enugu State
45. The Enugu State Command of the Nigeria Police Force confirmed the killing of four cops and burning of its Divisional Police Headquarters in Iwollo, Ezeagu Local Government Area of the state. The gunmen were said to have also burnt police vehicles and armoury, and also made away with weapons and released criminal suspects in the police cell. Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe, said a manhunt had been launched to track down the hoodlums.
May 28, 2021; Attack on Umutu Police Station, Ukwuani, Delta State
46. Some gunmen on May 28, 2021, killed three police officers during an attack on a police station in Delta State. The attack occurred in Umutu police station in the early hours of Friday. A police statement, which confirmed the incident, said two of the gunmen were shot dead by the police during the attack. “In the early hours of today 28th may 2021 at about 0130 hours, armed men in their numbers stormed Umutu police station, they shot sporadically at the station, but due to proactive measure already put in place by the Delta state commissioner of police, they were faced with stiff resistance by the men on duty, as the policemen on duty gave them a tough fight,” the police spokesperson, Edafe Bright said in the statement. “The armed men had to retreat when they saw that the policemen on duty were not relenting, two of the armed bandits were gunned down while others were injured.
May 29, 2021; Attack on Immigration Facility, Ubakala, Enugu-PH Highway, Abia State
47. Gunmen on May 29, 2021, attacked the Nigeria Immigration Service building located along Ubakala axis of Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway, Abia state. The attack was carried out a few hours after the state police criminal investigation department in Umuahia was razed by gunmen. Geoffrey Ogbonna, spokesman of the state police command confirmed the attack but could not give detail. It was gathered that the gunmen invaded the area and started shooting sporadically.
May 30, 2021; Attack on the Divisional Headquarters of Police, Njaba Local Government Area, Imo State
48. Gunmen on May, 30, 2021, razed the Atta Divisional Police Headquarters in Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria’s South-east. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the attackers shot sporadically for more than one hour before setting the station ablaze. They also razed the Magistrate’s and High Courts in the area and later vandalised the community health centre. The police spokesperson in Imo State, Bala Elkana, a superintendent of police, confirmed the incident in a statement issued in Owerri.
May 30, 2021; Attack on Magistrate and Federal High Court, Njaba LGA, Imo State
49. Unknown Gunmen on May 30, 2021, attacked a Magistrate and Federal High Court in Njaba Local Government Area, Imo State, burning it aground. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the attackers shot sporadically for more than one hour before setting the court ablaze and vandalizing a community health centre. The police spokesperson in Imo State, Bala Elkana, a superintendent of police, confirmed the incident in a statement issued in Owerri.
May 31, 2021; Attack on Omuma Police Division, Oru East LGA, Imo State
50. On May 31, 2021, the Imo State Police Command, repelled attacks on the Omuma Police Divisional Headquarters in Oru East Local Area, in Imo State, by unknown gunmen. According to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Bala Elkana, the attackers who had earlier attacked the Umundugba Divisional Police Headquarters, made attempts to burn down the station, but were repelled by the officers on duty. He said a “similar attempt was made by some hoodlums to attack Omuma Police Division but was equally repelled by the gallant policemen on duty. No life was lost in the two attacks and there were no casually on the part of the police. The two police stations were not burnt,”
May 31, 2021 – Attack on Umundugba Police Divisional Headquarters, Isu LGA, Imo State
51. Operatives of the Imo State Police Command, yesterday, repelled attacks on two police stations in the state. The stations are Omuma Police Division, Oru East Local Council and Police Division, Umundugba in Isu Local Council. According to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Bala Elkana, the attackers who arrived at the Umundugba station at about 3.30 p.m. in Sienna buses, Avalon and eight motorcycles, engaged the police officers on duty in gun battle. The attackers, he said, also used several petrol bombs, but were repelled by the police officers who were able neutralize the attackers. He said “on May 31, 2021 at about 3.30 p.m., some hoodlums in their numbers launched an attack on Police Division in Umundugba, Isu Local Council but were repelled by the policemen on duty. “They stormed the station in three Sienna buses, one Avalon saloon car and about eight motorcycles. The hoodlums were engaged in a gun battle. During the duel, the hoodlums threw a couple of petrol bomb at the station, which fell at the exhibit room. The attackers were eventually suppressed and they made a retreat, having suffered huge defeat and a number of casualties on their side. The police, with the help of some members of the community, were able to put out the fire.
July 26, 2021: DPO, 6 Gunmen Killed in Gov Uzodimma’s Home Town
52. The Police Command in Imo has confirmed the death of CSP Fatmann Dooiyor, a Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in an attack at Omuma town in Oru East Local Government Area of the state. The command also said six bandits died in the attack, while 11 were arrested when they engaged the police in a gun battle.
August 1, 2021: Hoodlums attack Imo police station, behead motorist
53. Over ten vehicles have been set ablaze and two suspected Police Officers killed when unknown gunmen attacked Njaba Divisional Police station at about 02:40 pm on Saturday. Also, the buildings belonging to the Njaba Police station were completely razed down. Reacting, the State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mike Abatam, said not only that two of the suspected hoodlums had been killed but that the Operation Restore Peace team of the police had cordoned off the Njaba area.
October 13, 2021: Cultists attack police officers, cart away rifle in Bayelsa
54. Suspected cultists have attacked operatives of the Bayelsa State Police Command along the Kolo-Ogbia road in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state. The operatives were said to be conducting stop and search operations when they were attacked on Monday night. The state’s police spokesperson, Asinim Butswat, confirmed the incident and attributed it to suspected cultists
November 23, 2021: Gunmen kill officer in Imo, set police facility ablaze
55. An officer has been shot dead and a police facility set ablaze by gunmen in Imo State, Nigeria’s South-east, according to a report by Daily Trust newspaper. The paper reported that the police spokesperson in the state, Michael Abattam, who confirmed the attack and the killing of the officer, said the incident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday.
November 28, 2021: Gunmen kill two police officers in Anambra, burn their bodies
56. Two police officers were killed following an attack by gunmen in Anambra State. In a statement on Sunday, Ikenga Tochukwu, Anambra command spokesperson, said the slain officers were travelling with their colleagues when they were ambushed by the gunmen. He said the bodies of the slain officers were burnt by the gunmen, while one officer is still missing.
December 13, 2021: Gunmen Attack Police Headquarters in Abia, Kill Policeman
57. Some gunmen on Monday morning attacked the headquarters of Abia State police in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State. SaharaReporters gathered that during the attack, one person suspected to be a police inspector was killed
January 18, 2022: Gunmen kill police officer in Aba
58. A police inspector was on Tuesday shot dead in Aba, Abia State, South-east Nigeria, by gunmen suspected to be members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Two of the gunmen were killed during a shootout with the police, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). The police spokesperson in Abia State, Geoffrey Ogbonna, who confirmed the killing, said the incident happened at about 12:30p.m
February 20, 2022: Nigerian police officers killed in two separate attacks in Isu, Imo and Anambra State
59. Four policemen have been killed in two separate attacks by suspected separatists in southeast Nigeria in the latest violence in the volatile region. The state’s police spokesperson Michael Abatam confirmed the incident.
March 20, 2022: Unknown gunmen attack two police stations in Oru, South-East Nigeria
60. Gunmen using dynamite have attacked a police station in southeastern Nigeria, a day after two police officers were killed in another attack in the area, police said. “The gunmen came with dynamite in the early hours of today and bombed part of the station at Oru but the assault was repelled,” state police spokesman Michael Abattam told AFP.
April 13, 2022: Gunmen attack police station in Anambra, kill four cops
61. Gunmen have attacked the police station in Atani, the headquarters of Ogbaru local government area of Anambra State, killing four policemen, including a female cop on duty. The State Police Public Relations Officer who confirmed the attack said, “The hoodlums came around 1am, and unlucky for us, four police operatives paid the supreme price.
April 15, 2022: Another Police Station Attacked in Anambra, One Gunman Killed
62. THISDAY learnt that the gang of gunmen had attacked Nteje police station, but luck ran out on them when operatives of the command got a tip off and launched a counter attack on them.
July 3, 2022: Gunmen Set Fire to INEC Office in Enugu
63. The commission’s head of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye said 748 ballot boxes and 240 voting cubicles were destroyed in the inferno.“The attack happened at about 11:48 pm on Sunday, July 3. The arsonists overpowered the security guards, forced their way into the premises, and set the building ablaze
July 13, 2022: INEC Suspends Registration of Voters in Igboeze, Following Attack by Gunmen
64. Unknown gunmen attacked officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) involved in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) at Community Primary School, Umuopu, in Umuozzi Ward 19 of the Igboeze North Local Government Area (LGA) in Enugu State. According to the Commission’s Administrative Secretary, Jude Okwuonu, the gunmen fired sporadically into the air to disperse registrants and registration officials. In the ensuing stampede, one staff of the Commission sustained injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment. Two voter registration machines and personal items of staff such as mobile phones were lost.
July 17, 2022: Two police officers, several hoodlums killed in Anambra gunfight
65. Two police officers and some hoodlums were killed yesterday during a gun battle between the police and gunmen at Achala in Awka North local government area of Anambra State. The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr Tochukwu Ikenga, said a six- man police team and a civilian car tracker who were on a recovery operation of a Toyota Sienna Space Wagon vehicle earlier snatched at gun point at Oye-Agu Abagana in Njikoka local government area were ambushed.
August 5, 2022: Gunmen attack police station, kill four cops in Imo
66. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Agwa Police Division came under serious attack by gunmen and killed four police officers on Friday evening. The CP confirmed this in a press statement issued by the command’s spokesperson CSP Michael Abattam on Saturday.
September 21, 2022: 3 policemen allegedly wounded as gunmen attack state CID in Abia
67. About three policemen were wounded when an unspecified number of gunmen, Wednesday night, invaded the Abia State Criminal Investigation Department, CID, headquarters of the Nigeria Police, located at Uzuakoli Road.October 9, 2022: Gunmen attack police station in Orji River LGA, kill cop, others in Enugu
68. Gunmen have attacked Inyi police station in the Oji River council area of Enugu State, killing at least a policeman and burning the police station. The gunmen that attacked Inyi police station were said to be chanting, “no election, Police in Biafra land,” while carrying out their evil act.
October 10, 2022: Gunmen in Military Uniform Kill Two Police Officers in Onuimo, Imo State
69. The deceased cops, attached to the Umuna Divisional Police Headquarters in the Onuimo council area of the state were reportedly killed in front of the station, where they mounted the stop-and-search operation.
November 8, 202: Gunmen Attack Police Checkpoint In Anambra, Officers Feared Killed, Injured
70. Gunmen attacked a police checkpoint along Ihiala-Uli road in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State on Tuesday morning. Casualty number not confirmed.
November 27, 2022: INEC office set ablaze in Izzi LGA, Ebonyi
71. A local office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was set ablaze on Sunday in Ebonyi State, south-east Nigeria, by some unidentified persons. A yet-to-be-determined quantity of Permanent Voters’ Cards was destroyed in the attack, INEC said. INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday night, said the incident occurred at about 10 a.m. at Izzi Local Government Area office in Iboko.
November 19, 2022: Gunmen kill three police officers in Agbani, Enugu State
72. Three police officers were on Saturday killed when gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in Agbani, a community in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria’s South-east.
December 3, 2022:Again, hoodlums attack INEC office in Imo
73. The Independent National Electoral Commission office in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State was, on Thursday, vandalised and partially set ablaze by some unknown people. This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, on Friday.
December 5, 2022: Another INEC office attacked seventh in four months
74. Armed persons on Sunday attacked the office of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Oru West Local Government Area of Imo State, making it the seventh attack on the commission’s facilities within the last four months. The Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Festus Okoye, confirmed the latest attack late Sunday in a statement made available to journalists.
December 12, 2022: Three gunmen, one police officer killed in Imo INEC office attack
75. The Police Public Relations Officer of the Imo State Police Command, Mr. Michael Abattam while confirming the attack said one police officer was killed in the attack that targeted the State Headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
December 20, 2022: Another INEC facility attacked in Imo, fourth in three weeks
76. Gunmen have attacked an office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Isu Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria’s south-east. The attack is the fourth on INEC offices in less than three weeks in the state. The INEC spokesperson, Festus Okoye, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, said the attackers vandalised some parts of the commission’s office.
December 22, 2022:Another INEC Office Attacked in Imo
77. Another office of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) office in Imo State has been attacked. This was disclosed in statement by the INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye. The attack, which was carried out on Tuesday left eight windows smashed and burglary proofs removed.
December 27, 2022: Gunmen burn down police station in Ihiala, Anambra
78. Eye witnesses and the state Police Public Relations Officer Mr. Tochukwu Ikenga said the hoodlums threw explosives into the station.
January 12, 2023: INEC Office in Ihiala LGA, Anambra State
79. The headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in the local government was also bombed in the attack which occurred about 48 hours after a police station in the area was also attacked
January 15, 2023: Again, Gunmen Attack INEC Office in Enugu, Kill one Police Officer…
80. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that its office in Enugu South Local Government Area has been attacked by gunmen a few weeks to the general election. INEC’s National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, stated this in a statement on Monday.
January 28, 2023: Gunmen attack Nigerian police checkpoint, kill three officers
81. At least three police officers were shot dead and another injured on Saturday night when gunmen attacked the security operatives at a checkpoint along the Enugu/Abakaliki expressway. The police spokesperson in Ebonyi, Chris Anyanwu, who confirmed the incident, said the hoodlums operated in two Sienna vehicles
February 1, 2023: 2023 Election: Deadly Gang Attack INEC Office, Police Station in Idemili South, Anambra
82. A gang of daredevil gunmen on Wednesday, February 1, attacked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Ojoto, Idemili South local government area of Anambra. Even more, the gunmen were said to have launched another attack on the police station in Nnobi and a residential building in Ojoto LGA. The police command also said a police station was attacked by the gunmen in Ojoto. The command Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, who confirmed the attack to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Onitsha, added that two casualties were recorded.
Unwanted distraction for the Electoral Process and need for structural response
The conflict in the region is an unwanted distraction to the electoral process and the security agencies which are battle fatigued as a result of the prolonged fight against insurgents in the northern part of the country. The bombings which are a clear manifestation of layers of disenchantments by young people who feel excluded from political representation and equitable wealth distribution, have further disrupted the security architecture of the country. The development however has a far reaching implication on the overall success of the electoral process. For instance some of the bombings spilled into the south-south region which also has many states with high election security risk. The escalation could further impede the efforts of the electoral umpire which might eventually be forced to either postpone or cancel the elections. The consequences of such cancellation are better imagined on the corporate existence of the country. It is therefore important to highlight that there is an urgent need for structural responses which should include multi-layer dialogues that involves all stakeholders.