12 policemen killed as gunmen attack four stations in Rivers, Akwa Ibom

The gunmen that have been troubling the Southeast and the South-South parts of the country struck again late on Friday and early yesterday, killing no fewer than 12 policemen in five attacks across Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.

An unidentified woman and two of the gunmen were also shot dead during the multiple attacks.

The Rivers State Police Command confirmed yesterday that nine persons, including seven of its personnel, died when the gunmen attacked two police stations and a security checkpoint in the state on Friday night.

The gunmen first swooped on a police special security checkpoint close to Choba Bridge and later the Rumuji and Elimgbu police stations, killing officers on duty.

They also burnt two police patrol vehicles and a private car owned by a police officer and stole five police rifles.

Two of the hoodlums were gunned down.

Spokesman of the police command, Nnamdi Omoni, said the hoodlums, who came in two vehicles, failed in their bid to set the police stations ablaze owing to the gallant resistance put up by the officers.

His words: “The Rivers State Police Command can confirm the unprovoked and mindless attack on policemen and vehicles.

“The incident, which led to the death of seven policemen, occurred last night (Friday) at about 2030hrs, where unknown gunmen driven in two branded Hilux vans attacked the special checkpoint at Choba Bridge where, in a surprised attack, killed two policemen on duty and set ablaze a private car belonging to one of the policemen.

“A similar attack was launched at Rumuji Police Station by the same hoodlums who killed two policemen on duty and burnt a police patrol vehicle.

“However, a stiff resistance by the police prevented the hoodlums from gaining access into the police station. In the course of exchange of fire, two of the attackers were fatally wounded and they died on the spot.

“The third attack at Elimgbu Police Station was equally resisted by the police, though three officers were killed in that attack. But the serious fire engagement made them to abandon their bullet riddled Hilux van while they escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds with a snatched Sienna bus.

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“The continued engagement by the police also forced them to abandon the Sienna car they were using to escape at the Refinery junction, while their remnants again escaped with bullet wounds.

“In the meantime, the corpses of the fallen heroes have been evacuated and deposited in the mortuary.”

A social media platform yesterday volunteered the names of the police officers that were killed in the Friday attacks on three police facilities in Rivers State.

Numbered among them were Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Jubiril Adams and Inspector George Mathew, who were said to have been killed at the state special checkpoint (C-4-i), close to Choba Bridge on the East/West Road in Emuihua Local Government Area of the state.

A Hilux patrol van was said to have been set on fire while two AK-47 rifles apparently belonging to the duo were taken away by the suspected hoodlums.

At Elimgbu Police Station, ASPs Ibrahim Otteh and Okoro Azuka as well as Insp. Paulinus Bassey were killed while four rifles were stolen. The third victim, Sergeant Onuchukwu Emehuru, sustained injuries.

At Rumuji Police Station, according to the social media platform, Asp Nelson Azuma and Inspector Friday Oyeghe were killed and beheaded, while Emeka Amadi, a newly recruited police constable, sustained gunshot injuries in the chest and was fighting for his life in an undisclosed hospital in the state.

Police Commissioner Eboka Friday and his lieutenants yesterday inspected the scenes of the attack for an on-the-spot assessment of the havoc done by the criminals.

He also launched a manhunt for the perpetrators.

The command asked the public to increase their security consciousness and report any person or persons with gun wounds to the nearest Police Station or call the following numbers: 08032003514, 08098880134.

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How five policemen, one woman were shot dead in A’Ibom

A similar attack by gunmen on the Divisional Police headquarters, Odoro Ikpe in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State early yesterday claimed the lives of five policemen and one woman.

The Chairman of the local government, Mr. Israel Adaisin, who confirmed the attack, blamed it on the Eastern Security Network (ESN).

Adaisin said the raid started at about 2.45 am.

The gunmen also burnt several vehicles and destroyed facilities.

He said eyewitnesses told him that the gunmen numbering more than 40 arrived at the council headquarters in two buses and a Sienna car.

”They arrived Ini Local Government Area with sophisticated weapons, broke into the police facility at precisely 2:45am, killing five policemen on duty, burning vehicles and inflicting injuries on others,” he said in a statement.

He said some police officers who attempted to repel the gunmen were overrun.

Adaisin, who visited the scene of the attack with the member of the State House of Assembly representing Ini constituency, Emmanuel Bassey, appealed for calm while condoling with the victims.

He commiserated with the Nigeria Police Force and the families of the killed police personnel.

He also thanked the youths of Ini Local Government Area who were proactive in raising the alarm, which he said was the needed force that helped to reduce the level of casualties which would have been recorded as a result of the attack.

Unknown gunmen have been killing security personnel and attacking police stations, checkpoints and correctional facilities in the two geo-political zones for several weeks now.

Early last month, hoodlums attacked the Owerri Correctional Centre, setting free 1,844 of the inmates.

On Friday morning, soldiers and policemen in Imo State gunned down 11 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN) while allegedly trying to attack a police station in Orlu.

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The surge in the activities of the gunmen jolted the Southeast governors into agreeing to set up a security outfit known as Ebubeagu to complement the efforts of the police and other security agencies.

Wike: We won’t succumb to secessionist agenda

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday held an emergency meeting with security commanders in the state following the killing of seven policemen in the state by unknown gunmen.

Emerging from the meeting, which held in Government House, Port Harcourt, the governor insisted that the state would not succumb to secessionist agenda.

The governor, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, condemned the attack and called for calm.

Wike reiterated that no amount of intimidation or resort to barbaric attacks would make the state align with those who were bent on plunging Nigeria into another unwarranted crisis.

The governor on behalf of the Government of Rivers State, expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the slain policemen and the Rivers State Police Command.

He said: “On behalf of the Government of Rivers State, I wish to offer our heartfelt condolences and express our deep sadness in the wake of these horrific attacks.”

Wike urged residents of Rivers State to be calm as the Security Council had taken measures to secure the state.

He further enjoined them to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement or persons to security agents.

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