…CP visits scene, orders investigation
…Govt’ll not fold its arms, watch bandits kill innocent people —Umahi
By Peter Okutu & Ikechukwu Odu
Spate of attacks on security agents and formations in the Southeast which had resulted in the death of personnel and the destruction of property continued, yesterday, as no fewer than two policemen were feared dead while an unknown number got injured when yet-to-be-identified gunmen attacked Adani Police Station in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, yesterday, said government would not fold its arms and watch bandits kill innocent people.
Vanguard gathered that the recent attack in Adani Police Station, Enugu State, happened at about 2:30 AM yesterday morning.
A resident of the area, Uchenna Onyeji, said the development has thrown residents of the local government into fear and confusion.
Onyeji added that the gunmen, after freeing all the inmates in the station, visited its ammunition compartment before setting it on fire.
Another resident in Adani who pleaded for anonymity disclosed that the attack lasted for more than two hours with sporadic gunshots. The source equally said that security personnel in the area were not able to contain the superior firepower of the gunmen, leading to the burning of the police station.
Another resident of the area told Vanguard that the gunmen gave notice of the attack before striking, adding that they snatched three AK-47 riffles from policemen guarding a Chinese company in the area, three days before this incident.
Recall that eight persons were equally killed in the same area two weeks ago when the residents clashed with suspected Fulani herdsmen.
This is even as two farmers were equally killed in their farm at Nimbo by suspected herdsmen two weeks ago.
The Enugu State Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu, yesterday, visited the scene of Adani Police Station for an on-the-spot-assessment of damages perpetrated during an attack on the station.
The CP who visited the scene at Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State with other sister security agencies in the state, has ordered the immediate deployment of the command’s operational and intelligence assets to identify and apprehend the gunmen who he said “attacked and set ablaze the station without provocation.”
The statement made available to Vanguard through the spokesperson of the command, Daniel Ndukwe, commiserated with the families and loved ones of the victims of the attack and urged the general public to assist the police in their efforts to apprehend the perpetrators.
Part of the statement read: “Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Command, CP Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu, has ordered the immediate deployment of the Command’s operational and intelligence assets to identify and apprehend the yet to be identified gunmen, who without warrant and provocation, violently attacked and set ablaze Adani Police Station today, 21st April, 2021 at about 2.30am. He gave this order during a prompt on-the-spot assessment visit of the station, alongside heads of sister security agencies in the state.
“Meanwhile, the unknown assailants, who attacked the station in their numbers, were resisted by Police operatives on duty and in the ensuing gun duel, some of the gunmen escaped with gunshot injuries. Unfortunately, two (2) of the Policemen were critically wounded and later confirmed dead in the hospital.
“The Commissioner, while commiserating with families and beloved friends of the slained Policemen, who unfortunately paid the ultimate price during the violent attack, has called on members of the public to assist the Police with timely and credible information that will aid the quick identification and arrest of the assailants.
“He further urges residents of the state, especially owners of medical facilities, to promptly report to the Police anyone suspected to have gunshot injuries.”
When reached for comment over the incident, the Enugu State Commissioner for Information, Barr. Chidi Aroh, said he has not been briefed about the incident. He however, directed our reporter to liase with the police for accurate information regarding the attack.
Govt’ll not fold its arms, watch bandits kill innocent people —Umahi
Meantime, Governor Umahi of Ebonyi State has condoled with the people of Umugadu in Umuogudu Akpu Mgbo, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state over the senseless killing that took place in the area about a week ago. The governor conveyed the condolence of his administration when he embarked on a visit to the area to personally ascertain the level of carnage during the incident.
On Tuesday during the State Security Meeting, the governor had declared the national coordinator, Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora, Ambassador Paschal Oluchukwu, wanted over alleged incisive publications leading to renewed killings in Effium, Ebonyi State. He also ordered the arrest and prosecution of an Ezillo, Ishielu Local Government Area Councillor, whose action on a disputed land allegedly brought about the recent crises which claimed lives in the area.
The governor who expressed sadness over the unfortunate incident of the attack observed that the precarious situation in the country called for internal arrangement against external aggression.
“I feel so sad when I learned of this, my spirit went down so low. How lives no longer means much in our country again? It is so sad that people will be sleeping in their houses and others will come and kill them for what they know nothing about.
READ ALSO: Gunmen attack Enugu Police station
“Our security outfit is already in place. I directed a lot of them to be posted to this place. All that is remaining of Ebubeagu is for us to launch it at the zonal level and to have our security gadgets there. Everybody will be protected when we make up our minds to protect ourselves. I have done everything possible for Agila people to live peacefully with us even when I was the Deputy Governor. Every time they will be the ones to attack us”.
The governor while also directing the formation of a vigilante in Egedegede in Ishielu Local Government Area recently attacked by herdsmen also approved the sum of twenty million naira to the community as a consolation to families of victims of the attack.
“We have a law in the South East and in Ebonyi State in particular that there will not be movement of cattle from one point to the other. I am going to support you to immediately form a formidable vigilante and I want it to be people-oriented”.
The governor while reiterating that the South East and Ebonyi State have banned open grazing in the area, charged council chairmen to enforce the grazing law in their areas using the local vigilantes.
“If anybody is trying to destroy our crops, you must stop him with a proportionate means upon which he is trying to destroy the crops. If somebody is killing cows of herdsmen, you must stop him with a proportionate means upon which he is killing the cows and no herdsmen with AK-47 is allowed in the land of Ebonyi. Mr. President has said it and I am saying it also, such people must be demobilized by all means. You can’t carry AK47 to our land. It is an affront, it is an insult and it is not allowed. We must stop them, enough is enough”.
Umahi also called on the people of Effium and Ezza Effium to call a truce and embrace peace to enable government assist them to resettle.
He informed the natives that their leaders have agreed to a ceasefire and appealed to them to recall their warriors from the bushes.
“We came to inform our fathers and mothers that we have discussed with your leaders in Abakaliki and they have agreed that there will be peace in Effium and they have agreed to recall your warriors from the bushes. So we appeal to you to embrace peace, we have relief materials for you but we can not give you if the war persists. If you embrace peace, we will come and assist you and the federal government will also come and assist you”
The governor informed the people that the government was willing to assist them to resettle but they should first of all, stop the crisis which will provide the opportunity for the rebuilding process.
He warned that government would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute all stakeholders in the event of further breakdown of law and order in the area.
Governor Umahi enjoined women to discourage further bloodletting in order not to impose a curse on their future generations.
Meanwhile, Mr. James Oche, the Executive Chairman of Ado Local Government Area of Benue State has said that the corroborated testimony of Ngbo victims, the Chief Security Officer of the Ngbo community, and the Ebonyi State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had substantially cleared the air and vindicated the people of Agila as being responsible for the Monday attack on Ngbo communities of Ohaukwu Local Government of Ebonyi State.
Nigeria is collapsing —Obi
Sequel to these developments, former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi has lamented what he called the indifference of some of those in the position of power over the present condition of Nigeria.
Obi was speaking yesterday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, during the burial of Prof. Linus Ilika, who was the Commissioner for Health during his tenure.
Obi said that the truth of the matter was that Nigeria was crumbling and yet those that should care carry on as if all is well. “The present condition of Nigeria requires all hands to be on deck. When I see the waste that still goes on among individuals as well as government officials, one is prompted to believe that we are yet to realize the depth of the rot, ranging from security challenges, dwindling economy and lack of due attention to education”, Obi said.
Eulogizing Prof. Ilika, Obi described him as a good and kind man”, whose contributions helped to reshape the Health sector.
In Obi’s words: “ We came into government without a single accredited health institution but with the commitment of people like Ilika, we ended up with over 12 accredited health institutions. It was during his tenure that we revived the grant-in-aid to hospitals in the state. ”
Concluding, Obi requested prayers from the congregation for God to touch the hearts of those in authority to realize that money meant for the people should be used for the people.
Over 90 priests graced the occasion. Two former Deputy Governors, Mrs Virgy Etiaba and Mr. Emeka Sibeudu were also present.
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