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Gunmen abduct many, injure others in Rivers funeral

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Rampaging gunmen at the weekend invaded a burial at Banigo Isile-Ogono community in Bonny Local Government Area, Rivers State, injuring many of the guests and abducting others.

It was gathered a top official of the legislative assembly in the council was battling for survival at an undisclosed hospital following the attack.

Sources told The Nation the bandits, who stormed the ceremony a few minutes after the deceased, Kenneth Banigo was interred, shot at different directions and abducted many people.

Some high-profile guests, who were in attendance such as the Chairman of the council, David Irimagha and lawmaker representing Bonny Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Abinye Blessing Pepple, escaped by the whiskers.

One Sunny, Allison and Theophilus were named among the abducted victims.

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A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The lawmaker, local government chairman, together with other guests tried to get to the waterfront to board their boats and escape.

“The gunmen later abducted a number of persons and took them away into the nearby creeks. The matter has been reported to security agencies.”

The Special Assistant to the Chairman on Media and Publicity Kingsley Jumbo, confirmed the incident  in a statement.

He said: “The unfortunate incident happened at Finapiri Ama (Amauda) village in Banigo Ishilegono where they attended the burial ceremony of an elder statesman in Bonny Kingdom, Late Amaopusenibo Kenneth Miebaradima Kalada Banigo when masked gunmen arrived and began shooting sporadically from the jetty.”

The Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed that gunmen disrupted the funeral by shooting sporadically but fled on sighting a detachment of policemen.

Omoni, however, said the police could not confirm the case of abductions because nobody had reported such matter to their division

He said armed policemen had taken over the entire Bonny to avoid a reprisal attack and further breakdown of law and order, adding investigations had begun to unmask the identities of the gunmen and their motives.

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