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Robbery Attack: Police Recover N5.6m In Rukpokwu …As RSG Reassures On Security

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The Rivers State Police Command, says it has recovered the sum of N5.6million from the unspecified amount of money carted away by unidentified gunmen during a robbery attack last Friday at Rukpokwu market junction  in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, which left eight policemen and three civilians dead.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ben Ugwuegbulam, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP disclosed this to newsmen in Port Harcourt over the weekend while reacting to the robbery incident.

Ugwuegbulam disclosed that “combined police formation have launched investigations to unravel the cause of the attack as  we will fish out the fleeing armed robbery gang”.

The police image maker said that the incident occurred when one of the police escort vans developed a fault at Rukpokwu market junction as money belonging to Oceanic Bank was being conveyed from the airport to the bank at Trans-Amadi.

According to the police spoke person, the robbers took advantage of the situation and attacked the police escorts, adding that the police men however engaged the armed gunmen in a shoot out which resulted in the death of the victims including members of the gang.

However, a source close to the scene of the incident told The Tide that the armed robbers over-powered the police escorts, killing all the policemen on that routine operation while stray bullets hit some people within the vicinity.

According to the source, the armed gang also killed the driver of the bullion van which they escaped with including the undisclosed amount of money it contained.

The attack, which was said to have lasted for forty-five minutes caused a heavy traffic jam at the ever busy Igwuruta-Owerri Road while motorists, passers-by and school children scampered for safety.

It would be recalled that a similar robbery incident occurred barely four days before this attack at Every Day Super Market along Rumuola Road where unknown gunmen attacked and killed two police escorts and a lady cashier of the Everyday Super Market.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government, has reacted to  the recent armed robbery incidents that claimed the lives of some residents of the state, saying, it is set to rid the state of criminals and tighten security.

Governor Chibuike Amaechi gave the assurance at the weekend as he noted that the government was aware of the recent reports of armed robbery activities around banks in the State capital, Port Harcourt.

Governor Amaechi also sounded a clear warning to criminals to stay away from Rivers State.

“The Governor is working tirelessly in collaboration with security agencies in the State and would stop at nothing to ensure that these acts of criminality are nipped in the bud,” Iyofor said.

“These criminals seem to specialise in robbing banks or people going to or coming from banks or persons moving cash to or from banks. Our investigations have revealed that these robberies are perpetrated by gangs who are in a mad rush for money to spend in the fast approaching yuletide season.

“But we want to assure residents of the State that new and fresh security measures are now in place to deal with these criminals. We want to assure residents of Port Harcourt that we are on the trail of these criminal gangs, and sooner than later, they would have to answer for all their heinous crimes.”

“Specific security arrangements have been put in place to deal with these criminal elements. we urge the people to remain calm and extremely vigilant as they go about their daily business”,  Iyofor added.

Amaechi further warned these criminals to pack and leave Rivers State immediately or be ready to face the full wrath of the law and the state government.

Akujobi Amadi

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity

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Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments

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President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari

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Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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