The Ebonyi State Commissioner for Infrastructure Development, Engr. Fidelis Nweze, narrowly escaped gun attack on Tuesday as he abandoned his car and ran into the bush leaving his SUV at the mercy of gunmen who shot sporadically in all directions.
The incident happened at the site of a proposed international airport in the State.
The gunmen were feared to have targeted the State Governor, Dave Umahi who was scheduled for an inspection visit to the airport.
Newsmen gathered that the gunmen stormed the airport site at about 3:30 p.m. but missed their target as the Governor failed to turn up.
A highly placed source at the Ebonyi State Government House told newsmen that the heavily armed men came on seven motorcycles and two vehicles.
“On getting to the site, they opened fire, but God averted their bullets from hitting the Commissioner for Infrastructure Development, Engr Fidelis Nweze, whom on suspecting the movement of the motorcycles, ran to the nearby bush and take cover, leaving behind his SUV Jeep.
“The gunmen then broke into the SUV and made away with the Commissioner’s laptop, architectural plan documents and money. They shot repeatedly on the air and took over the site for some time waiting for the arrival of the governor,” the source said.
After waiting for some time without the Governor arriving, the armed men left the scene and invaded a nearby commercial bank (name withheld) at Onueke, close to Ezaa South Local Government Area headquarters, where they robbed, leaving two policemen dead,” the source further revealed.
Reacting to the incident, Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Francis Nwaze, told Government House reporters that the attack was not directed at his principal. “The attack sincerely is not targeted at the Governor. The gunmen came on their own. Anybody linking it to the Governor is looking for another thing. As you know, this is politics anything can happen,” Nwaze said.