Drawn to the fray, Rivers reels under the jack boots of assassins
The Rivers State appears to be drawn into a ring of select states which may have been penciled down for destabilization by erratic groups that are determined to stir crisis within the Nigerian state.
Barely 24 hours after unknown gunmen shot their way through the usually busy Port Harcourt – Owerri Road, killing nine security personnel on the spot, a fresh attack has been launched in the oil bearing State.
This time, the Abua/Odual Local Government Area has come under attack.
At least five soldiers stationed at a camp in Abua were allegedly killed according to a report by Channels Television which is quoting two unnamed security sources as saying that, that number of soldiers may have lost their lives.
It is not clear who is responsible for the attack in Abua, but top security Chiefs in the State faced with a fresh push by unknown gunmen hurried into a meeting early in the day to discuss the security situation.
Thus far, security agents are being targeted in Rivers State and there are no reports suggesting for now that local people have been killed in the Ikwerre and Abua/Odual Local Government Areas.
Oyigbo which has been a place of interest, especially for pro-Biafra groups who insist the name of the area is Obigbo, has remained calm.
Abua/Odual with a population of282, 988 people occupies an area of 272 squares miles or 704 square kilometers.
For the first time, the security apparatus existing in Rivers State which has sustained a measure of security and stability appears to be faced with a major threat.
Governor Nyesom Wike Sunday condemned the initial attack launched at the Ikwerre Local Government, saying the action of the yet to be identified gunmen was ignoble.
Neither the Six Division of the Nigerian Army which controls military operations in the State nor the headquarters of the Nigerian Army in Abuja has responded to the killing of the said military officials at a location in Abua.
Rivers people are anxiously waiting for the outcome of the security meeting in Port Harcourt.
A Rivers indigene who did not want his name in print said, “We are obviously under attack. We must come together to protect our State.
“This, attack is not against Wike. It is an attack against everything we hold dear as Rivers people.”
The APC in Rivers State had said in a prompt response to Sunday’s raid, “Those who carried these attacks are evil; they are cowards; and we must make sure that these evil minded cowards are not allowed to threaten our peace.”
“Our hearts go out to the families of these gallant soldiers and policemen who paid the supreme price that we may live”, the statement signed by APC’s Spokesman, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke stated.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) had confirmed that three of its personnel were killed by the gunmen who struck on Sunday.
Mr Jerry Atta, spokesperson for Zone C, Custom’s Federal Operations Unit, confirmed on Sunday that the gunmen took away an AK-47 rifle and two Toyota Hilux vans belonging to the organization.
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