Gunmen attack, kill police escort, driver in Rivers
…Abduct 30 Passengers
Unknown gunmen terrorising Ahoada, Ikwere and Emohua local councils of Rivers State have shot dead a police escort and a driver before abducting 30 passengers of a commercial bus along the Emohua axis of the East-West road.
The Guardian gathered that the hoodlums kidnapped a senior staff of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) after killing his police escort and driver.
The hijacked bus conveying 30 passengers was said to have left Port Harcourt, the state capital, and was heading to Abua Odual council when the gunmen struck, while the vehicle conveying the SPDC staff and his aides was attacked at the boundary between Rumuji and Evekwu axis of the East-West road. The attack reportedly occurred close to a police checkpoint.
The SPDC staff was said to be returning from Bayelsa State to Port Harcourt about 4p.m on Thursday when the incident occurred.
A source in the area said the driver of the bus was shot dead after he denied the kidnappers access into the vehicle by allegedly pressing the lock button.
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the attacks, assuring that the police were on the trail of the attackers.
Meanwhile, a social cultural group, Orashi National Congress, has condemned the incessant attacks in the area, giving the state government and security agencies 24 hours to secure the release of the abducted passengers, as well as others reportedly abducted along the Emohua axis of the East-West road.
President of the group, Emeni Ibe, threatened that the group would mobilise a massive protest and barricade the East-West road if the abducted passengers were not released after 24 hours.
“The bus driver was killed instantly. This is too much and generally unaccepted by the good people of Orashi. We will not accept it any longer. I, therefore, call on government and the security agencies to ensure the victims are released unconditionally and unhurt,” he said.
Similarly, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Rivers State, led by Enefa Georgewill, said it would join members of ONC to mount pressure on the authorities to secure the release of the passengers.
In a related development, two persons were feared dead in Iriebe community in Oyigbo local council of the state after armed gangs invaded the community and unleashed mayhem on the people.
It was learnt that the incident resulted from a clash between the Hausa community and people from Akwa Ibom State living in the area.
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