The Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the death of seven officers during attacks by gunmen in the State.
The spokesman of the State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, in a statement described the killing as “unprovoked and mindless”.
Omoni said the incident occurred Friday night. He said the gunmen driven in two branded Hilux vans, attacked the special checkpoint at Choba bridge, in the Ikwere Local Government Area where two Policemen on duty were killed in a surprise attack and a private car belonging to one of the policemen set ablaze.
He further confirmed that a similar attack was launched at Rumuji Police Station in Emuohua Local Government Area of the State by the same hoodlums and that two policemen on duty were killed and a police patrol vehicle burnt.
Omoni noted that a stiff resistance by the police prevented the hoodlums from gaining access into the police station,
He said that in the course of the exchange of fire, two of the attackers were fatally wounded and died on the spot.
According to the police spokesman, the third attack at Elimgbu Police Station in Obio/Akpor Council was equally resisted by the police but noted that three officers were killed in the attack while a serious fire engagement made the hoodlums to abandon their bullet-riddled Hilux van. He said they escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds with a snatched Sienna bus.
“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,” Omoni said.
“In the meantime, the corpses of the fallen heroes have been evacuated and deposited in the mortuary, while the Commissioner of Police, CP. Eboka Friday, who led members of his management team and tactical Commanders to the respective scenes for an on-the-spot assessment, has launched a serious manhunt for the perpetrators with a view to apprehending the culprits and bringing them to justice”.
He noted that the Command is relatively calm and the Commissioner of Police is currently in a security meeting with his team, expressing hope that security has been further strengthened in all the Police formations in the State, including other critical public and private infrastructure.
“It is pertinent to note, that in all three attacks carried out last night, no Police Station/formation was burnt. Regrettably, a total of five assault rifles were lost in the incident”.
The Command, however, enjoined 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.
Meanwhile, the Youth President of Elimgbu Community, Mr Uche Morgan, told journalists that the incident has unsettled the community as it caused serious panic in the area.
Morgan said, “the moment I heard the sporadic gunshots, I mobilized my Youths to the station where they have been till Saturday morning”
“Regrettably, despite attacks on police officers and the stations, several police officers are still seen on different junctions across the State harassing and collecting money from motorists.”
Recall that, Governor Nyesom Wike had two weeks ago declared curfew in all land borders in the state from 8 pm and later, during a statewide broadcast, announced a dusk to dawn as a measure to check attacks in the state.