Gunmen Kill 14 Persons Returning From Church In Rivers
Gunmen turned the New Year into a bloody day in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State when they opened fire at people returning from the church in the early hours of Monday where they had gone to usher in the new year, killing over 14 persons.
It was gathered that over 26 persons were shot in the attack, 14 persons died on the spot while 12 victims were hospitalised.
There were conflicting reports on the number of casualties.
Some sources said 14 were killed, others said 15, yet another report claimed it was 16.
The Rivers State Police Command has described the incident as unfortunate, adding that the culprits would be smoked out and prosecuted.
The Public Relations Officer of the command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said police were aware of the incident, but noted that the number of casualties could not yet be confirmed.
Omoni said, “I can confirm the incident but at the moment we cannot confirm the number of casualties.
“The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operation and other tactical heads have been mobilised there to restore peace.
“The Commissioner of Police (Ahmed Zaki) has launched a manhunt for the bandits to ensure they are arrested and prosecuted.
“When the DCP and the teams there conclude we will know the total number of people involved.”
It was gathered that the unknown gunmen had operated at two different locations, the Kirigani and Oboh axis of Aligu, Omoku, in a coordinated attack.
It was reported that the killers opened fire on Christians that were returning from different churches about 12:20am after they had successfully crossed over to 2018.
Gunmen Kill Monarch, Pregnant Wife In Kaduna
In a similar development, gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have killed the Etum Numana in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Malam Gambo Makama, and his pregnant wife.
The incident occurred on Monday about 12:05a.m at his residence at Gwantu town.
The attackers were said to have broken into Etum Numana’s residence and opened fire on three persons. The third person was identified as the son of the monarch.
While Gambo Makama and his wife died on the spot, his son, who was injured, was taken to the hospital.
The monarch’s residence was also burnt to ashes during the attack.
Bala Audu, Chairman, Sanga Development Association, said, “He was seated with his second wife who is pregnant. Suddenly the gunmen, who I was told covered their faces with masks, invaded the house and opened fire on them, alongside his son who is about 45 years.
“The chief and his wife died on the spot, the son did not die but he sustained serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital.
“The gunmen set the house ablaze and burnt a vehicle which was recently given to the chief as a gift.
“They fled into the bush after they committed the dastardly act.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Mukhtar Hussaini Aliyu, confirmed the attack.
Aliyu said the Police Command had received the report of the attack about midnight on Sunday, but said that the assailants had fled before the police arrived the scene, hence no arrest had been made.
He appealed for calm as the command was doing everything possible to get to the root of the matter.
Meanwhile, the killing has thrown the residents of Gwantu town and environs into a mourning mood.
Meanwhile, Kaduna State government has condemned the killing of the Etum Numana and his wife.
Samuel Aruwan, Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity to the state governor, told newsmen in Kaduna, Monday that the late Etum Numana was a peacemaker who was committed to peace and development in his chiefdom.
“The government commiserates with the immediate family of the royal father and his wife, the people of Numana Chiefdom and the entire Sanga Local Government Area.
“The government condemns this double murder that was a calculated threat to peace, and a most unfortunate attempt to introduce into the new year a pattern of criminality that needlessly threatens the right of citizens to security, life and liberty”.
He appealed to anyone with useful information on the murder to report such to the relevant security agencies and assured them that the information will be treated with utmost confidentiality.
He said the government had directed the security agencies to investigate the criminal incident as well as to bring the assailants to justice.
The governor appealed to the people of Numana Chiefdom to remain calm and to support the security agencies as they continued to investigate the crime which he said had been threatening the hard-won peace across the Southern Kaduna area of the state.