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One feared dead, reporter shot as thugs descend on Lokoja


By James Azania, Lokoja

The Sun Newspaper Correspondent in Kogi State, Emmanuel Adeyemi, has been shot.

Adeyemi, who was on his way to the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Lokoja was shot a stone throw from the gate of the secretariat.

An unidentified person, who was reportedly hit by a stray bullet around the Kogi Circle roundabout, close to the Misi T restaurant, was said to have died on the spot.

Adeyemi at exactly 10.18am posted warnings of sporadic shootings on the Correspondents’ chapel WhatsApp platform.

He had written: “Gentlemen, there are sporadic shootings along govt house junction.

“I learnt that there is serious problem with youths and police along Zone 8 right now as they are bent on invading the govt warehouse located along that way.”

He was rushed to a nearby clinic within the premises of the NUJ Press Centre from where he was referred to the Lokoja City Hospital, close to the palace of the Maigari of Lokoja, in the Karaworo area of the capital.

Unconfirmed sources claimed hired thugs instigated the attacks that have degenerated into a near breakdown of law and order.

“The boys also came around the Baptist Church junction shooting sporadically. People around the area scampered for safety.

“We had to lie on the floor at home. It is like they are political thugs,” said a source who spoke with The Nation in confidence.

The drive-by shooters whose bullet hit Adeyemi from behind also shot a passerby whose name could not be immediately ascertained.

Read Also: One killed, Inspector hacked as hoodlums attack Mokola Police station

The other victim of the drive-by shooting on the Lugard Road, close to the NUJ state secretariat, was said to have just arrived from Benue and was caught up in the middle of the mayhem.

The sporadic gunshots in Lokoja followed the resumption of looting in another warehouse in the Zone 8 area.

A similar incident was recorded overnight when the Agricultural Development Project (ADP) warehouse where bags of fertilisers were stored were looted by hoodlums.

A large crowd of youths had gathered at the Zone 8 roundabout close to the warehouse as early as 7am on Monday, having emptied a government warehouse near the Kpata market, where Covid-19 palliatives were stored on Sunday.

It was gathered information got them about the existence of the existence of another warehouse in the Zone 8 area.

As at the time of filling this report the sporadic gunshots were yet to abate while traders along the Murtala Mohammed Way, hurriedly closed their shops as residents scampered for safety in different directions.

Journalists, who normally mill around the NUJ Press Centre, have all but vacated the premises for fear of further attack.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), William Aya, said the gunshots came from hoodlums who were scaring people away to enable them have free access to their looting activities.

He said the perpetrators were being trailed and would be brought to book shortly.

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