By Chinedu Adonu
ENUGU – The Enugu State governorship candidate of the United Democratic Party, UDP, in the 2019 general election, Pastor Donatus Ozoemena and his entire family escaped assassination by unknown gunmen at Ore axis, in Ondo State, along Benin-Lagos expressway.
Pastor Ozoemena who made this known in a phone chat with Vanguard said that he was attacked between two security checkpoints when he was taking his family of six from Enugu to Lagos to board a flight back to abroad.
According to him, “I was driving my family back to Lagos, on Monday, after the children’s long vacation, for a flight abroad when the unthinkable happened along Benin-Lagos Expressway.
“I had chosen to personally drive the SUV, with my entire family onboard, while an SPU Police driver drove the backup vehicle, a Toyota Sienna bus, with an additional armed Police Inspector with him. Then, suddenly, the unthinkable happened. We were ambushed at Ore axis, right in between two military checkpoints, by over 30 gunmen; call them killer herdsmen, robbers, terrorists, bandits or whatever, they are the same,” he said.
Narrating his ordeal, he said that immediately the security personnel with him saw the gunmen, they shouted “robbers, robbers; turn around!”, adding that he had complied at once.
He disclosed that some of the gunmen came out from the bush and immediately began to shoot sporadically at their SUV, QX56 Infinity model, and the Toyota Sienna bus with registration number, UWN 251 FB.
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“But as we turned, we saw about 30 other armed men who were already at our back. That prompted the Police personnel escorting us to hang on our vehicles and began to return fire to the gunmen and many of them ran back into the bush as I speed off.
“One of their bullets pierced the back of my vehicle, through the hardback luggage and the items in the boot and rested between my two daughters on the backseat. A bullet also pierced through the windscreen of the Sienna bus and would have hit the Police Inspector on the head but luckily, the man had stepped out of the car to help clear the road for other travellers.
“I am grateful to God for saving our lives; our survival was miraculous and I hail the bravery of the police personnel that were with us.
“Nigeria needs urgent help and needs it now. We have all been surrounded.
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“So, while we continue to pray for Gods intervention, something drastic must be done urgently because we must realise that it is still us, Nigerians, that God would use to correct this prevailing mess”, He said.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Enugu State police Command, Ebere Amarizu, said that he had not been officially briefed about the incident.