A car bomb killed Tuesday in southeast Nigeria four security officials with former governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State being the target, the Nigerian police has said.
“The man (Ohakim) was ambushed and he was able to maneuver and escape,” Police Commissioner Mohammed Barde said. The four security personnel were killed in a different car,” Barde said.
The attack was an unfortunate setback to government efforts to restore peace in some of Nigeria’s conflict-ridden southeastern states, he added.
The authorities have launched manhunt to arrest the culprits. The victims include three police officers and a paramilitary official.
The attack has raised fears among local residents who are concerned that security will be threatened in the area during the country’s presidential elections in February, Africa News reports.
The violence comes months after an ambush on a lawmaker in the southeastern Anambra State which killed four police officers in September.
Southeast Nigeria has witnessed a rise in violence in recent years, often blamed on separatists trying to break away from the West African nation to form an independent entity.
The separatists want to break away from the federal state. They have been calling for referendum and are using violence and attacks against state officials to achieve their aim.