By Alao Abiodun
A former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has narrated how he was attacked by gunmen at a political gathering in Anambra state on Wednesday.
The Professor of econometrics, who is also an aspirant in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra, was meeting with youths at Isuofia community when the gunmen stormed the area and opened fire, The Nation learnt.
Three police officers attached to Soludo were killed during the attack
Speaking on Thursday during an interview on Channels TV Politics Today monitored by The Nation, Soludo said he would not like to conclude the attack was ‘politically motivated’.
Recalling the incident, he said: “We were having an interactive town-hall meeting. We finished the diocesan crescent mass at about 2pm, and by 4:00pm, they scheduled an interactive town-hall meeting with the Isuofia youths
“And by the way Isofia happens to be my hometown… I’m a village boy; this is where I feel safest anywhere in the world. I walk the streets, I jog on the streets, I take long walks, I mean I’m everywhere as a village boy as it were.
“With this interactive session with over a thousand youths seated, and I was just making preliminary remarks to open up the interactive session with other dignitaries from the community, commissioners and members of the House of Assembly, former commissioners, former members of the house, and several other dignitaries were in attendance
“And just as I was about to wrap up, and for them now to open up comments, questions and answers, I heard gunshots. At first I thought maybe the policemen were shooting in the air and concurring with the kind of exuberance in the hall itself…
“And until I began to hear people screaming, and all of that, and everyone scampered for safety, but then when it was all over, it took several minutes about 10 to 15 minutes of continuous gun battle, going back and forth…stopping and starting again.
“By the time we all came back, we saw three dead bodies lying in the pool of their blood – they were the three policemen… and like I said earlier, may God grant their soul eternal rest… we’ll continue to pray and support the families.
“And then, the commissioner was abducted. I understand that when they ran and jumped the fence, some people grabbed and took him away… our prayers are with him. We pray for his safe return.”
He said: “The DSS, police, army and civil defense were all in my house… I was totally unhurt in anyway.”
When asked if the attack was politically motivated to abduct or attack him, he said: “I think there are all kinds of theories as it were, I do not want to prejudge or preempt the investigation that is ongoing because I understand some persons have been apprehended and also providing useful information.”
Soludo affirmed he is a friend to all the other contestants in the state.