The national secretariat of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, located at No 7 Park Avenue, GRA, Enugu was on Tuesday attacked by unknown persons with objects suspected to be Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), resulting in the destruction of the building and some other important items.
However, the police in the state claimed that the development was a failed attempt by some people to reduce the main building to rubbles.
Though no life was lost, the explosion, which led to a fire outbreak that was subsequently put off, affected some parts of the Akanu Ibiam Conference hall of the secretariat.
THISDAY checks revealed that the explosion went off with a bang which rocked the entire area.
The unfortunate development is a new dimension to the leadership crisis rocking the organisation.
The elders’ council of the organisation led by Chief Mbazulike Amaechi had reportedly constituted a Caretaker committee with Chief Ralph Obioha as chairman. However, Chief Gary Igariwey, the President-General is still laying claim to his position insisting that he had a four-year mandate and not two years as some people claimed.
The Chairman of the caretaker committee Chief Ralph Obioha who inspected the Ohanaeze main hall affected by the blast told reporters yesterday that it is an unfortunate incident.
“I have inspected the place it’s quite an extensive damage. I can’t guess the motive or why such an attack should be targeted at Ohanaeze. It is a mystery and I condemn it in its entirety. It’s actually a bomb issue but the motive cannot be explained.”
Also commenting, the embattled Secretary General of Ohanaeze, Dr. Joe Nworgu, said: “I don’t know the choice of that target whatsoever; It happened at about 8:45p.m; I was alerted at about 8:55p.m. It is unfortunate.”
Some reporters who visited the conference centre at about 4p.m. and saw a shattered conference table and a blown ceiling just as two staff of the secretariat who would not have their names in print were on hand to explain what transpired last Saturday night when the facility was bombed by attackers who escaped the scene on the intervention of some staff of the secretariat.
“We also saw debris from the heavy impact of the suspected IED used in the attack, some iron rods that broke off the device, a burnt rug covering the elevated platform on which the wrecked and burnt conference table was seated.”
One of the staff of the secretariat, a caretaker, said: “this thing happened on Saturday night at about 9p.m, and I heard a loud noise and when I run out, I see smoke at the hall and my name join me and we run to the place.
“As we reach the place, we saw one boy running from this window and climb this wire on the fence. The glass window break before, so, I feel he enter through that place,” he informed.
According to him, after the escape of the suspect, they called in the police who embarked on rescue operations and eventually removed an iron bucket in which the suspected IED was built.
The Enugu Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ebere Amaraizu, said the explosion was not a bomb attack but an attempt by unknown persons to raze down the Ohanaeze building.
He said the police was already in action to find those behind it and the motive.