Hoodlums Lay Siege in Rivers LGA despite curfew
- …Residents flee communities
- …We will win war against them, say police
Hoodlums suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have continued to launch attacks in Oyingbo Local Government Area despite the 24-hour curfew declared in the area by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Residents from various communities in Oyingbo were said to have fled their homes following the nefarious activities of the hoodlums.
It was learnt that people in the area could not sleep on Thursday night and Friday morning as sounds of gunshots rented the air.
A lawyer, who spoke in confidence, said most residents in the communities were taking refuge in the nearby bushes.
“Last night was particularly frightening. Members of IPOB ran riot in the communities shooting all over the place. It has been terrible here. We appeal to the police to assist us”, he said.
It was, however, learnt that troops of the Nigerian Army and police operatives were repelling the hoodlums.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed that members of IPOB were attacking the police and residents in the area.
” They are shooting at us but we will surely win the war”, he said adding that the same hoodlums that burnt the Oyingbo Area Command and the Afam Police stations were still in the communities.
Omoni confirmed that a hospital close to the burnt police station was also razed by the miscreants, who were angry that the health facility refused to admit their injured colleagues.
He said on Wednesday the suspected IPOB members after burning their staions at Oyingbo set ablaze and damaged about 15 vehicles including one Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).
Confirming the killing of policemen, he said: ” In the wake of the attack, two Police Officers were killed and some arms and ammunition carted away by the hoodlums.
” In another attack at the Mile one Police Station, the same rampaging IPOB members who operated under the guise of #ENDSARS Protests made frantic attempt at burning the Mile One Police Station and the office of Eagle Crack Squad.
“But they were however repelled by the superior fire power of the Police, as three of them were fatally wounded in the exchange of gunfire, while eight of them were arrested and immediately transferred to State CID where they are currently helping in our investigation.
” We have been able to stabilize the Command, though there are still pockets of threats from their remnants at the fringe communities in Oyigbo Local Government Area but no stone will be left unturned till they are arrested and brought to justice”.
He said the Commissioner of Police, CP Joseph G. Mukan, had appealed to the people of Rivers State to remain calm and religiously obey the curfew imposed by the State Government.
Omoni said: So far adequate deployments have been made to cover all the flashpoints and ensure that the hoodlums are kept at arm’s length, while appealing to parents and guardians to warn their children to remain law abiding or else the full weight of the law will be brought to bear on them.
” Rivers State has in recent time enjoyed fragile peace which we are poised to sustaining. For all intents and purposes, the State is bigger than anybody or group, hence we must all strive to entrench lasting peace in the State.
” The #ENDSARS protests and the Consequential Demands are being addressed by both the Federal and State Governments, therefore, any attempt to undermine the security of the State will be resisted. The constitutional duty of the Police to protect lives and property is sacrosanct and must be carried out in a most professional manner.”