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Police begin search for stolen AK47 rifles in Rivers

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The police have commenced a search for eight AK47 rifles stolen by gunmen that killed seven of their operatives in Rivers State at the weekend.

The eight rifles were reportedly snatched from victims of the attack, which occurred at two police checkpoints and two divisional police headquarters.

At the C4I checkpoint at Choba where the gunmen killed an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and an Inspector, two rifles were snatched with a patrol van set ablaze by the bandits.

At the checkpoint in front of the Rumuji Divisional Headquarters, where the armed men beheaded another ASP and an Inspector, the police lost two AK47 rifles.

A special constable was said to have escaped with a bullet that hit his chest at the Rumuji checkpoint.

The gunmen further stole four AK47 rifles when they attacked the Elimgbu Division where they killed two ASPs and an Inspector.

The Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, had deployed a special tactical team to locate the hideouts of the fleeing gunmen and retrieve the rifles.

The team was said to be combing the waterfront, bushes surrounding the state capital and the border communities for the gunmen.

Residents of the state raised concerns over the rising number of illegal arms in the hands of bandits.

Some of them recalled after the attack on security formations and killing of nine security operatives at Oyigbo Local Government Area, over 50 AK47 rifles were reported missing

“We are scared. We don’t know what will happen after this ongoing stockpiling of arms by unknown gunmen. Security agencies especially the police should activate their intelligence departments and conduct operations to retrieve these arms”, a resident, who identified himself, simply as Emmanuel said.

Investigations revealed that despite the ongoing attacks, policemen deployed to checkpoints were still not vigilant at their duty posts.

A commercial bus driver, who plies Port Harcourt to Lagos, said the police were still in the habit of losing concentrations at checkpoints and asking drivers for tips.

“They are still not ready to deal with these unknown gunmen. At each checkpoint, you will see policemen hang their guns while stretching their hands to collect money from motorists.

“Most times their hands are preoccupied with vehicle papers as they keep flipping the papers with no iota of vigilance. That is why they are always caught off guard by unknown gunmen,” the driver, who spoke in confidence, said.

An employee of one of the media outfits in Port Harcourt observed that policemen were still engaging in reckless acts that had made them easy targets for gunmen.

She said: “Truly painful and sad that policemen, who are husbands and fathers to others have their lives cut shot in these manner. It saddens my heart because most of these unfortunate and sorrowful acts leave many families helpless and more impoverished.

“However, it is most regrettable and very stunning to see policemen blatantly allowing N50 and N100 from motorists to make them lose focus and alertness both on streets in Port Harcourt, environs and on our highways.

“To say the least, it is shameful and regrettable that an agency that some wicked beings have chosen to be at war with for reasons best known to them is still daily seen being distracted over a token sum that actually and eventually make no difference in their lives at the end of the exploits.”

Rivers Police spokesman, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed Commissioner of Police has launched a serious manhunt for the perpetrators with a view to apprehending the culprits and bringing them to justice.

He said: “So far, the Command is relatively calm and the Commissioner of Police is currently in a security with his team, as security has been further strengthened in all the Police formations in the State, including other critical public and private infrastructure.

“The public is hereby enjoined to increase their security consciousness and report any person or persons with gun wounds to the nearest police station”.

It was furthered gathered Governor Nyesom Wike, was worried by the attack, which started at about 8.30pm before the 10pm curfew he imposed on the state.

Wike, who immediately convened a security meeting after the incident, ordered the security commanders to formulate additional measures to protect the state.

The Governor insisted that no amount of intimidation or cruel resort to barbaric attacks would make the state succumb to secessionist agenda.

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Sunday Igboho, others plan Lagos Yoruba Nation rally

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Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, is set to storm Lagos for Yoruba Nation rally.
Yoruba nation protesters have held rallies across South-West states such as Osun, Ogun, Ekiti and Ondo.
Igboho is expected in Lagos on July 3, 2021 at the Ojota park in continuation of the rally for creation of Yoruba nation.
An ardent supporter of Sunday Igboho, Alaba Shomuyiwa, popularly known as Baba Confirm, Prophet of El Adonai Cherubim and Seraphim International Bible Ministries, disclosed that Igboho and other supporters would be in Lagos, urging Yoruba to support the movement.
Igboho in the past weeks expressed dissatisfaction over the continuous activities of killer herders in the south-west region.
In the last rally held in Ekiti, Igboho declared the 2023 general elections would not hold in the region unless the Oduduwa Republic is created, calling on all stakeholders to support him and other leaders in achieving it.

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Kebbi school kidnap: One student killed, five rescued

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Security forces have rescued four of the abducted students of the Federal Government College, Birnin-Yauri in Kebbi State attacked by bandits on Thursday.
They were rescued along with a teacher during a gun battle with the bandits on Friday morning that also left one of the abducted students dead.
Deputy Force Commander of the Joint Task Force in the North-West, Abubakar AbdulKadir, confirmed this to reporters on Friday.
The number of students abducted by the gunmen during the attack on Thursday afternoon is yet to be confirmed.
But local media reported that about 30 of the students were taken hostage.
AbdulKadir said the troops engaged the bandits in a gun duel on Friday morning, forcing them to abandon five of their captives.
“In the early hours of this morning, we have come across the kidnappers. They came to our blocking point, and we engaged them,” he said.
He added, “At that point, they abandoned five of the students and one of the teachers. Unfortunately, I think we have lost one of the students.”
The kidnap is the latest in a series of violent attacks targeted at schools in northern Nigeria.
About 700 students have been reportedly abducted in the attacks since December 2020.

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Updated: Five burnt to death, 25 cars razed in Lagos tanker explosion

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Five people have confirmed dead in the gas tanker explosion that occurred on Thursday night along Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Lagos.
Three of the bodies were found inside one of the stores at the OPIC plaza by officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) around 7am on Friday.
The bodies were found while rescue team was searching for a child whose mother was rescued early Friday morning.
The woman, who was at the Chinese Restaurant, reportedly kept crying about her child when she was being evacuated to the hospital.
The officials who went from one room to the other in search of the kid reportedly discovered three bodies of men who got trapped by the fire.
The other two, including a child, were discovered by a vulcaniser who led FRSC officials on traffic control duty to the spot.
At least 13 other persons were injured after the gas tanker explosion which occurred at 10.30pm resulted in the destruction of 25 cars.
Four of the injured victims with severe burns who could not be attended to at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital were moved to the Trauma and Burns Centre of the Gbagada General Hospital.
Director General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed that five bodies had been recovered and 13 injured persons evacuated to the hospital.
He said the agency responded to a distress call shortly before midnight on Thursday concerning a tanker explosion which extended to the OPIC Plaza and damaged 22 parked vehicles within the premises.
“First responders worked to control the spread to the adjacent properties as well as the nearby petrol station until 0400hrs Friday.
“Thirteen people with various degrees of burns were rescued comprising nine males and four females. They were provided with pre hospital care before taken to Lagos State health facilities for further treatment
“The affected truck has been moved, the entire affected area cordoned off and post disaster assessment ongoing.”
Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, Acting Zonal Coordinator, South West Zonal Office, National Emergency Management Agency, confirmed the development in Ikeja on Friday.
He said the explosion threw the environment into panic due to the huge fire caused by the incident.
He said the explosion was reportedly caused by leakage from the gas tanker while in motion.
“The resulting fire travelled with the wind to the premises of Ogun State Property Investment Company (OPIC) Plaza besides Sheraton Hotels, which houses different commercial outfits including a Chinese Restaurant.
“The fire was put out at about 12.30am, after concerted efforts of five fire trucks from the Lagos State Fire Service and two trucks from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency Response Unit.
“The initial search and rescue activities revealed that 13 persons sustained various degrees of burns. Out of this, nine are males while four are females.”
According to him, the affected victims were attended to at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) for First Aid.
Farinoye also confirmed that four victims with severe injuries were quickly moved to the Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos.
He “Preliminary assessment of vehicles damaged indicated that about 25 were destroyed as at now.
“Comprehensive post disaster assessment on the extent of general damages would be done later today.”
According to him, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, led the team that took charge of crowd control and helped to restore normalcy.

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