Gunmen Abduct Rivers Council Chairman
Dep. Gov’s Wife , Three Others Injured In Explosion
GUNMEN have abducted the chairman of Ahoada East local government area of Rivers State, Cassidy Ikegbudu. Over 20 men dressed in military fatigue abducted Ikegbudu from his village, Yiboko, yesterday.
It is not known if the abduction is in connection with INEC’s rescheduled rerun of the Rivers State House of Assembly election, which was declared inconclusive last week in the council.
The chairman’s party, the All Progressives Congress, boycotted the polls, which took place in six constituencies of the state. It was learnt that the council mistook the gunmen for military personnel when they approached him at his hometown.
But when the armed men requested that he followed them to an undisclosed location, he asked to know their mission. Sensing he was going to resist abduction, the men started shooting sporadically to scare away his security aides, family members and supporters.
Amid the scuffle that ensued, the chairman was said to have sustained serious injury before he was whisked away. Rivers State Commissioner of Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, condemned the abduction of the chairman and tasked security operatives in the state to expedite his speedy release.
Semenitari said the state government remains concerned about the safety of the council chairman due to recent killings of All Progressives Congress members and chieftains in the state.
His family said there was exchange of fire between security personnel attached to the chairman and the armed men. The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ahmad Muhammad, confirmed the incident and gave assurance that security operatives were working assiduously to ensure his speedy release.
“The command is aware of the incident involving the Caretaker Committee Chairman. Action has been put in place to rescue him safely,” he said. Meanwhile, an early morning explosion in Lagos yesterday rocked a building belonging to the Kogi State Deputy Governor, Yomi Awoniyi.
The house, located at Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, was said to have collapsed following the explosion, trapping his wife and three others in the rubble.
A driver who was washing cars outside also sustained injury. The victims were immediately rushed to a hospital. Confirming the incident, the South-west Zonal spokesman, of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, said: “The collapse is suspected to have been caused by a gas cooker explosion around 7.15 am, this morning.”
“The Police Anti-Bomb Squad and Police Disaster Management Unit are working on the site to get to the root of the explosion. “Afterwards, the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) will move in to determine the next level of action.”