The Rivers State Government has called on the Inspector General of Police, Department of State Services and other security agencies to fish out the killers of Ahoada West Local Government Legislative Assembly, Hon Ekele Fyneface Cohen Chikobi, popularly called EFCC Chiko in the social media.
EFCC Chiko, a social media influencer, was killed, last Thursday, around Rumuji along East-West Road when unknown gunmen opened fire on the convoy of the PDP House of Assembly Candidate, Hon Wanaka Augustine Okpokiri, killing EFCC Chiko and abducting some others in their convoy as they were returning to Port Harcourt.
In the last two weeks, drivers of two popular motor companies were attacked at around the same spot by the same gunmen, who killed one while the other escaped with severe gunshot injuries, just as the hoodlums kidnapped some of their passengers.
It was learnt that these incidents were only a tip of the iceberg in the last one month, as several private and commercial motorists and travellers have faced traumatic experiences, with some killed, some kidnapped while others escaped with gunshot wounds.
The state government concern was contained in a statement issued by the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Barrister Emma Okah, in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
“Time has come for the Government and people of Rivers State to ask more questions as to the security of lives and property in our state and the role and effectiveness of security agencies”, Okah said, noting that the death of EFCC Chiko after a campaign rally in his LGA was unacceptable.
Despite threats of violence against PDP members and other innocent people in Rivers people, the state government has continued to find ways to end this quagmire by supporting security agencies but enemies of progress would not agree.
“Recall that the establishment of the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency was a direct response to these challenges but some prominent Rivers sons instigated the Nigeria Army to shut down the recruitment process for their selfish political ends”, Okah said, adding that violent crimes like the death of EFCC Chiko would have been averted if the agency had commenced operations.
“Rivers State Government considers this death and the others like it, a direct affront to the security agencies and Rivers people demand that they rise to the occasion if they want us to believe their strength and impartiality.
“On our part, we shall continue to do everything within our powers as government to get the perpetrators of this crime to book in no distant time”, the statement added.
“As a government, we call on the Inspector General of Police not to go the way of his predecessor who politicised Rivers State security and didn’t consider the lives and property of Rivers people a priority despite repeated demands. He must show his presence in the arena.
“Hon. Ekele Fyneface Cohen Chikobi (EFCC Chiko) must not die in vain,” Okah stressed.
However, the government commiserated with the wife and family of the deceased, and prayed God to comfort them at this time of anguish, assuring that the state will stand with them at this time.
Earlier, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike had stated that the state government would ensure that the killers of Ekele Fyneface Cohen Chikobi (EFCC) were brought to justice.
Speaking at a meeting with Community Development Committees in Port Harcourt, last Friday, Wike said the state government would ensure all those involved in the dastardly act are tracked down by security operatives.
Wike said he received news of the murder of EFCC, the legislative leader of Ahoada West Local Government Area, with shock, noting that he was unsettled by the sad news.
Meanwhile, D-Source Connect has condemned the murder of the founding member of the group.
“EFCC Chico as he is fondly called, until his sudden and untimely demise was a committed and founding member of D-Source Connect Group whose sense of humour and leadership style we cannot forget in such a hurry.
“We, as a group condemn the gruesome murder of our brother and friend, and call on the Federal Government, especially the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Abubakar Adamu and all the security chiefs to fish out everyone involved in this dastardly act that took the life of this young man at his prime, at a time his family, friends and Rivers people need him most.
“While we condole with the family of EFCC Chico and pray that God grants them the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss, we pray that God almighty will grant him eternal rest”, the group added.
RSU, IAUOE Join Varsity Workers Strike. Today
Workers of Nigerian universities will begin a nationwide “warning” strike today following the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum given the Federal Government to address issues of Earned Allowances, sacked workers of university staff schools and other issues affecting their members and the university system.
President of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Chairman of Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU, Samson Ugwoke, told newsmen that the strike would be “total and comprehensive”.
Ugwoke pointed out that already, their members have been mobilised, while all the non-teaching staff in the university system across the federation have been directed to stay at home from today.
The SSANU president, however, said it would last for five days, from Monday to Friday, to serve as a warning to the Federal Government.
“Yes, the strike will start on Monday, and it will be comprehensive and total. It will last for five days – Monday to Friday. To ensure its success, we have already mobilised all our members, and they have been directed to stay away from work from Monday,” Ugwoke said.
The unions, under the Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU, had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to meet their demands or face a nationwide strike.
The unions said the strike had become imperative as the government failed to response to their demands.
In a circular issued after the JAC meeting penultimate Thursday, and sent to all branches, the unions warned that at the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum, they would be left with no other option than withdrawing their services and closing down the universities if the government fails to address all their grievances.
Entitled: “Notice of Industrial Action,” the circular, which was signed by Ugwoke and the General Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi, lamented the non-challant attitude of the Federal Government towards addressing their grievances and obeying court judgment.
The circular read: “That a 14-day ultimatum of industrial action be given to the Federal Government to address the pending issues with effect from Monday, August 5, 2019. During the period of the ultimatum, all branches are hereby directed to carry out peaceful protest on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 and Thursday, August 15, 2019.
“At the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum, Sunday, August 18, 2019, without any positive response from the Federal Government, members shall proceed on a five-day warning strike in all branches from Monday 19 to Friday, August 23, 2019, inclusive.
“You are, therefore, directed to properly mobilise our members for this action. All defaulting branches shall be sanctioned accordingly.”
However, academic and other official activities would be paralysed in the two state-owned universities, the Rivers State University (RSU) and the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUOE) following the nationwide industrial strike embarked upon by the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) under the aegis of Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU, today.
Speaking to The Tide on the decision to join the strike in the state, the Chairman of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) at the Rivers State University (RSU), Nkpolu-Oruworukwo, Port Harcourt, Comrade Azuma Cheta said members of the union would join the strike beginning from today because of alleged government’s insensitivity to the plight of their members working at the university staff schools as well as its inability to comply with the national directives of the union.
Cheta disclosed that the state government had refused to pay their members working at the staff schools and the international schools their salaries for the past four years.
The chairman said they would have relaxed the strike but for the interest of those members now languishing in pains over the government’s refusal to pay them salaries since February, 2016.
“We will comply with the directive but for our members at the international schools and staff schools, who the state government has refused to pay salaries for the past four years”, he stated.
Also at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUOE), the Chairman of SSANU, Comrade Chisa Egwu could not be reached for comments, but a senior staff working at the administration department, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said they held a congress meeting on the proposed strike, last Friday, at the union’s auditorium.
Police Confirm Three Deaths In Khana Fresh Violence …LG Boss, Ex-Youth Leader’s Houses Razed
The Rivers State Police Command has dispelled ‘fake news’ making the rounds that more than 36 persons were killed by suspected cultists in a raid on two Khana communities of Opuoko and Lumene in Rivers State, yesterday.
In a statement, yesterday, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed that only three persons were actually killed during the attacks on the communities in Khana Local Government Area.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Rivers State Police Command has been drawn to the above ‘caption’ making the rounds on social and traditional media on the state of affairs in Opuoko and Lumene communities in Khana LGA.
“Ordinarily, this distorted news should have been ignored as the command is not given to frivolities and fake news capable of stirring disaffection and causing panic and tension in the state.
“However, in order that the public will not be immediately misinformed and hold erroneous impression resulting from the fake news, we have, therefore, deemed it necessary to put the records straight, and state as follows: That today 18/8/19 at about 0630Hrs, information got to us that a group of cult boys invaded two communities in Khana (Opuoko and Lumene) where they attacked and killed one person in Opuoko and two in Lumene, altogether three persons died.
“The houses of the LGA chairman and the former youth leader came under attack.
“The attackers on sighting the police took to flight but were chased and two of them arrested, while the trail for others is still on.
“The two suspects are Damwua Karagbara, 33 years (alias Spider); and Dinee Prince, 23 years.
“Exhibits recovered from them include: Assorted phones and military camouflage.
“So far, calm has returned in both communities.
“The CP has ordered Investigation into the incident with a view to ascertaining the remote and immediate causes of the attack and to bring perpetrators to justice.
“We are again appealing to the public to help us with useful information that can lead to the arrest of these mindless criminals, via the following security numbers: 08032003514, 08098880134, and 08182157778”, the statement added.
Lawyer Petitions UK, DSS To Probe Buhari’s Cambridge Documents
The Department of State Services and the London Metropolitan Police Service have received petitions to investigate the documents said to have been obtained from Cambridge University and tendered by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential election petition tribunal.
Copies of the separate petitions dated August 14, 2019, were signed by a Nigerian lawyer, Kalu Kalu Agu.
It would be recalled that the president’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, had told the tribunal that he obtained the President’s ‘assessment’ documents from Cambridge University.
He was quoted as saying he personally signed for and collected the documents on behalf of the President.
The UK-based examination body oversaw the conduct of final year secondary school examination in Nigeria and placement into foreign universities in the 1960s.
In the two petitions forwarded by Agu, the lawyer questioned the authenticity of the ‘certifying statement’ said to have been obtained from the Cambridge Assessment International Education.
He asked the UK police and the DSS to launch an investigation into the circumstances leading to the procurement.
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