Update: Unknown gunmen attack police, military checkpoint as Rivers Govt seeks arrest of perpetrators
The Rivers State Government says it wants those who carried out Sunday’s attack on Rivers soil to be apprehended and punished.
Governor Nyesom Wike said in reaction to the slaughter of security operatives who were on legitimate duty that the government condemns in strong terms, the dastardly attack which took place in the Ikwerre Local Government Area.
He said that his administration was in sympathy with the families of those who lost their lives, saying that the government stands in solidarity with security agencies operating in the State at this time.
The Rivers Governor however did not refer to any group in particular as the mastermind of the said attack which has left several people in the oil-rich State in complete shock.
But the State’s Chief Security Officer nonetheless insisted on the arrest of those who plotted the attack, stressing that they ought to be brought to book.
At least nine persons, including policemen, soldiers and Custom officials lost their lives in the lightening raid conducted by unknown gunmen along the Omagwa – Elele route.
There is no indication that any of the hit men who took part in the deadly raid has been picked up, but we have heard that investigations may have commenced.
Unknown gunmen had earlier ambushed unsuspecting soldiers, policemen and Custom officials posted to the Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Although details of what transpired were sketchy at first, it is now known that of the nine personnel who were murdered, three were Custom officers.
A vehicle was similarly set ablaze while the checkpoint at Omagwa was vandalised by the raiders.
It is the first major attack targeted at security operatives in the South South since unknown persons stepped up terrorist operations in the South East.
Nnamdi Omoni, CSP, State Public Relations Officer of the Rivers State Police Command who spoke to the Port Harcourt Telegraph Sunday confirmed the incident.
The identity of the killers who struck in the Ikwerre Local Government Area is not yet known.
But there are suspicions that the killers may not be unconnected with IPOB whose leader Nnamdi Kanu is threatening thunder and brimstone, and accusing the Federal Government of doing nothing to stem the wave of violence in the North.
This may be a ploy to play the ethnic card and turn the table against the federal authorities in the court of public opinion.
Prior to this time, the Rivers State Government and the leadership of IPOB had engaged in a war of words.
Governor Nyesom Wike had warned weeks ago that his administration had obtained credible intelligence which showed that members of the pro-Biafra group were planning to converge at Oyigbo.
If Oyigbo was seen as the hot spot before the raid, those who attacked security personnel surfaced surprisingly in the Ikwerre Local Government Area and plundered a security post.
Sympathising with security agencies, Governor Wike urged officers and men to be more vigilant.
Recall that the Rivers Governor had promised to procure fighting equipment for the Armed Forces and the police as part of its contribution to the ongoing war on terror.
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