The Rivers State Police Command says adequate security measures will be put in place at the premises of Rivers State Newspaper Corporation (RSNC) Publishers of The Tide Newspapers to safeguard lives and property within the corporation.
The Divisional Police Officer in-charge Mile 1 Police Division, Mr. Paddy Pagon stated this when he led the deputy Commissioner of Police, and other Officers of the command to the scene of armed robbery attack at the State Newspaper Corporation last Monday.
Pagon said the security arrangement would enhance free movement of persons, especially staff of the corporation whose major duties are at night, and assured of the Police’s readiness to rid the area of criminals.
He used the medium to warn criminals to keep away from the state, especially within Mile 1, Diobu axis, adding that the Division has zero-tolerance for criminal activities.
“They should repent and desist from the acts of criminality or be ready to face the consequences of their actions. As these two armed robbers are gunned down, that is how any of them will be killed if they fail to give up”, he stated.
Speaking to journalists, the General Manager, Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, Mr. Celestine Ogolo, described the incident as most unfortunate, adding that the armed robbery attack has affected the business of the Corporation.
Ogolo explained that since over 43 years of the establishment of the Newspaper outfit, such incident, had not occurred, and wondered why the armed robbers took such interest in a newspaper house.
He said he received a distress call from one of his staff at about 1.19am informing him of the armed robbery attack, adding that he responded swiftly by calling the Police emergency numbers.
“For over 43 years, we have been in this business without this sad experience. We don’t know what attracted them to the corporation.
“I received a call from my staff at 1.19 am about the robbery incident and quickly called the Police emergency number. The Police quickly arrived the premises on time but unfortunately, the armed robbers shot the Police man. The Police also killed two of the robbers”, he stated.
The General Manager explained that the Management would partner with the Police to ensure that there was absolute security in the area.
On the issue of fencing the premises, Ogolo said the matter would be discussed again with the Commissioner of Information, adding that it had earlier been taken to the Ministry of Housing & Urban Development.
Earlier, labour unions in the Corporation had decried the level of insecurity at the Corporation.
The Unions, the Nigeria union of journalists (NUJ), National Union of Publishing, Printing and Paper Products workers (NUPPPPROW), and two others made this disclosure when they met with the General Manager of the RSNC, Mr. Celestine Ogolo, over the incident.
The Unions, while sympathizing with the management and staff of the corporation urged workers to be calm and go about their normal duties, assuring that the unions would work with management to ensure that security of workers was guaranteed.
The union lenders, led by the National Vice President, NUPPPPROW, South-South; Com. Godwin Williams, urged the state government to immediately commence the reconstruction of the corporation’s fence that was demolished by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, adding that workers would not allow any form of insecurity that would put their members’ lives at risk.
It would be recalled that armed robbers, numbering five had stormed the premises of The Tide Newspapers on Monday about 1.19am, and dispossessed staff on night duty of their valuables and undisclosed amount of money.
An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the armed robbers first attacked the production unit, and made away with the phones and monies belonging to machine operators before gaining access to the first floor of the main building where editorial staff were busy finalizing work on the Monday edition of The Tide Newspaper.
The source further said that the robbers held one of the staff hostage because he appears to have known them, and decided to kill him, adding that the robbers ordered the driver on night duty to take them to the General Manager’s office on the second floor of the building.
According to him, while the driver was taking them there, one of the proof readers on the first floor, opened the door unknowingly, adding that immediately the robbers sighted the staff, they ordered them inside the office.
The staff said that while the robbers were at the proof reading office, the Police arrived and one of the Police Officers, in an attempt to rescue the workers followed the robbers to the first floor and was shot by of one of the robbers before he fired back at the robber.
He said the Police lost one of their officers and also killed two of the armed robbers during the exchange of gun fire.
Six staff members who sustained various injuries were hospitalized after they had been rescued from the armed robbers.
LG Boss Uncovers Bloodstained Army Uniform At ‘Cocaine Village’
The newly inaugurated Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Obarilormate Ollor, has gone to ‘Cocaine village’ at Eleme Trailer Park to execute Governor Nyesom Wike’s quit order on residents of the illegal settlement when he made a shock discovery in one of the rooms.
Ollor had visited the area notorious for drugs and crimes, last Sunday, along with some security personnel to serve the quit notice on residents but met the area deserted—an indication that someone had alerted them about the visit.
Out of curiosity, the chairman opened one of the rooms in the ghetto-like settlement, and found the bloodstained uniform of a soldier, his knife and ATM card.
The chairman and his entourage had expressed suspicion that criminals in the area had killed the owner of the uniform and robbed him.
Ollor said, “Remember that a week ago, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, gave a directive that all illegal structures be removed. As the chief security officer of the local government, I am under that obligation.
“What we are doing here today is to inform them in advance and to remind them that the ultimatum still holds. So, on or before June 26, they should move out.
“What we have here is a mixed population of criminals, armed robbers, drug dealers, and even those who allegedly trade in human parts. Right now, we just found the uniform of an Army man who probably may have been killed. His blood all over the room and uniform, his knife and ATM card, which we have given to the police.”
The Rivers State Police Command has reportedly swung into action to unravel the perpetrators of the alleged crime.
Spokesman of the police, SP Nnamdi Omoni, said that the command had received reports about criminal activities in the area, including the alleged killing of a soldier.
Omoni said, “We have gotten complaints and reports of drug traffickers, criminal elements, human organ dealers, kidnappers and more from there.
“Though we have been carrying out investigation into all of the reports but thank God, we now have a good lead and evidence.
“We have been mandated by the state government to carry out massive arrest within the environs to ensure we arrest and prosecute all those persons involved.”
Residents said that the ‘Cocaine village’ is a haven for drug dealers and users, adding that security operatives also patronize the area.
An aide of the Eleme LG chairman, who spoke off-the-record said, “The governor received an intelligence report that the slum harbours criminals and drug addicts who carry out series of crimes, human organ trafficking, abductions and many other criminal acts in the LGA and state at large.
“We learnt also that some security men troop in there off and on to buy drugs and indulge in one crime or the other.
“The military uniform stained with blood, knife and motorcycle discovered were found in one of the rooms we opened.
“The badge of the military uniform was removed and there were heavy blood stains on the uniform.
“We went there with some police men as assigned to us by the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Eboka Friday”, he added.
Insecurity Hasn’t Hindered Projects’ Execution In Rivers, Wike Affirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says that his administration has fearlessly tackled insecurity headlong and created an enabling climate for smooth delivery of quality development projects.
Wike made the assertion at the inauguration of 16.2-kilometre long Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi Road project in Omuma Local Government Area of the state, yesterday.
The governor noted that while other states of the country were still struggling with issues of insecurity, Rivers State was witnessing harvest of development projects with the non-stop inauguration and flag-off ceremonies to their amazement.
“Don’t fight anybody that God has blessed. Don’t fight the state that God has blessed. People are talking about insecurity. We are talking about commissioning and flagging-off of projects. Is it easy? If it is easy, let them try it.”
Wike asserted that it is only states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like Rivers that has created a peaceful climate for the citizens while the government delivers democratic dividends.
“Those who say they don’t like what PDP is doing, they have no choice but to like it. You can see what the party (PDP) is doing. We are flagging-off and commissioning projects. Whether they like it or not, we are in charge.”
The governor said it is obvious that Rivers State is no longer on the same level with states that cannot provide dividend of democracy to their people.
Wike said the performance of his administration has restored confidence in Rivers people and they can walk with their heads raised high.
“Rivers people, are you not proud of your state? If you’re a Rivers man, anywhere you go, raise your shoulder high and say that you’re a Rivers man and woman. “They (other parties) can only jealous us, but they cannot do anything. We are of different class. We are not on the same level with them.”
Speaking further, Wike commended the member representing Omuma State Constituency, Hon. KelechiNwogufor his loyalty to PDP.
He also extolled him for his commitment to the welfare of Omuma people and being a trusted ally to him.
At the behest of Nwogu, Wike promised Omuma people that his administration would reconstruct the Umuakali-Eberi Road in appreciation of their support to the PDP.
Inaugurating the project, former President of the Senate, Senator Adolphus Wabara, noted how Wike has redefined governance and broken the jinx of non-performance associated with second tenure governors.
According to him, the approach to development that the governor has adopted stands him out as a much sought-after leader who should be consulted in solving critical national issues related to governance.
“With my experience in elective politics, second terms of most governors are dull; some governors will just go to sleep because they don’t have anything to offer. But you are still commissioning projects, as if you’re not even going to leave.
“Your developmental approach, your developmental plans, and formula should make you an international consultant to the failing government. Because, quite frankly, the magic, I mean, nobody knows except you. You do it with ease, you do it with happiness.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, EllokaTasie-Amadi said the Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi link road in Omuma Local Government Area was another genuine efforts of the Wike administration to ease the transportation difficulties experienced by rural dwellers in the Omuma.
“Many of these rural projects go unsung probably because the residents are not social media savvy, as in the case of Omuma, who are predominantly farmers, or probably because SM activities are not a part of their past times as it is with city dwellers.
“It may shock you to know that for every kilometre of road we have built in the city we have built 12kms or more in the rural areas. This is a conservative estimate I would like you to ponder upon when you get home.”
He further stated, “This project is a 16.2km long, 10.3m wide road project which has 4.3km of drains. The roads are marked and have a total of 27 road signs to aid driving and enhance public safety.”
Wike Flags Off Abonnema/ Obonoma Sandfilling Project, Today
All is now set for the flag-off of the Abonnema/Obonoma Sandfilling project in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, said that, “the project will sandfill 42 hectares of land that will help expand Abonnema and Obonoma Towns.
“It is in fulfilment of the promise made by Governor Nyesom Wike during the commissioning of the Abonnema Ring Road”.
The statement further added that, “The rich culture and tradition of the Kalabaris will be fully on display at the event.
“Please, note that all Covid-19 protocols will be observed at the event”, it stressed.
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