Stampede in Owerri over rumoured gunmen’s attacks, kidnap of governor’s wife

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A false alarm on Monday set residents of Owerri, the Imo State capital on a stampede as rumours spreads of shootings across the city.

Rumours spread across the capital late morning that unknown gunmen were shooting indiscriminately in parts of the city.

There were also claims that the gunmen engaged security staff members of the Government House in a fierce battle in an attempt to kidnap Chioma, the wife of Governor Hope Uzodimma.

Residents swiftly withdrew their children from schools even as many fled home.

Witnesses said the talebearers claimed that the gunmen were bent on forcing Owerri residents to observe the weekly sit-at-home.

The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, which declared the sit-at-home in August, cancelled it last month.

However, the people of the South-East have continued to observe the order for rear of attacks by hoodlums.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Declan Emelumba, denied the claim that the governor’s wife was kidnapped.

The state police command also dismissed the reported gin battles as fictional tales.

On Sunday, gunmen burnt the offices of the Department for State Security and the Federal Road Safety Corps in Nnewi, Anambra State.

Two persons were reportedly killed in the violence.