Bandits Kill Igbenedion Varsity Don …Gunmen Murder One, Abduct 17 In Kaduna …As Police Kill Five Kidnap Suspects, Nab 20 In Rivers
Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Dan Mallam, yesterday confirmed the killing of a lecturer with the Igbinedion University, Okada, near Benin, by suspected kidnappers.
Dan Mallam said the lecturer, Kelvin Izebeokhai, was killed in an attempted escape bid when the victims were being marched into the forest by the kidnappers.
The gunmen were said to be operating near Okada junction along the Benin-Lagos highway.
It was learnt that the gunmen abducted Izebeokhai and other passengers in the bus they were traveling in.
The driver of the mini bus was said to have rushed into the bush along with four other passengers.
“Unfortunately, one of the passengers who tried to escape during the abduction was killed by the gunmen.
“The police went after the kidnappers in the bush and succeeded in rescuing the victims.”
He said the police were working on a new strategy which entails taking the war to the kidnappers’ den in the jungle, adding that it is the best way to tackle the scourge.
Spokesman for the university, Mr Jide Ilugbo, who confirmed the killing described it as “babaric.”
Ýlugbo said late Izebeokhai was a First Class graduate and was employed in the university in 2016. He said it was now dangerous to travel on the Benin-Lagos highway due to frequent attacks by armed robbers and kidnappers.
The official said it was unfortunate he ran into hoodlums, saying that the trailer parked before Okada junction is a hideout for criminals.
Meawhile, gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen were reported to have invaded two communities in Kaduna State, killing one person while 17 others were abducted.
Both incidents were said to have occurred in the early hours of yesterday when the bandits invaded ECWA Church Dankande village, Dogon Dawa area, Birnin Gwari Birnin Local Government Area and Guguwa-Kwate village, Rigasa area in Igabi Local Government Area.
The incident in Dankande was said to have occurred at about 12:30 am when the bandits, surrounded the church, where a choir practice was going on.
An eyewitness who spoke in a telephone interview with our correspondent yesterday in Kaduna, said, the hoodlums forced everybody to lie face down while all mobile phones were seized at gunpoint.
He said “it was at about 12:30 midnight. We had a combined choir practice in the church with other neighbouring communities. We normally hold the combine choir practice from 9:00pm to 1:00am.
“As we were in the church, Fulani herdsmen, numbering over 20 just surrounded the church and started shooting. “Everybody was terrified, but there was no how we could run because they had already surrounded the church.
They were asking for the pastors house and they threatened to shoot us if we don’t show them the house.
“Some of them went to the pastors house while others kept watch over us.
“They abducted the pastor’s daughter and 14 others – ten girls and five men were abducted”.
“We later reported the incident to the soldiers that are stationed at Dogon Dawa and they said they were coming….. ‘
The attack in Guguwa-Kwate village was said to have also occurred some few minutes after midnight.
A community leader in the area who pleaded anonymity said the bandits were Fulani herdsmen, numbering about 30 and were armed with guns and machetes.
He said they were shooting indiscriminately and they killed his senior brother’s son.
“They entered one house and were beating people. They kidnapped one man and a woman in the house.
The killed my senior brother’s son”.
According to him, it was the fifth time the bandits were invading the community.
“This is the fifth time these bandits are invading our community. About two months ago, they abducted two people in the farm.
The other person was killed even after we paid them ransom.”
He said the community had reported all the incidents to the police, but there seemed to be no respite as the herdsmen continued to terrorise the village.
“We are helpless because there is nothing we can do other than to report to the police when such incidents happened.
We have no arms and we cannot stand them, we are just at their mercy because they are well armed and they always come in large numbers,” he lamented.
Efforts to contact Yakubu Sabo, spokesman of the Kaduna State police command, on the matter was unsuccessful as his mobile phone was switched off.
Also, the Rivers State Police Command says it has killed a five-man kidnap gang suspected to be responsible for all criminal activities in Eneka community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state and its environs.
The state Commissioner of Police, Usman Belel disclosed this while briefing journalists at the command’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, last Friday, on the major breakthrough and achievements recorded by the command in recent time.
Belel told journalists that operatives of the Inspector General of Police Monitoring Unit, led by the Commander, Supo Adaka Justin, during a sting operation and follow-up in a case of kidnapping, last Thursday, at about 0500hrs, stormed a criminal hideout at Eneka in OBALGA where a gang of kidnapers were hibernating.
According to him, the hoodlums, on sighting the police, opened fire, and injured two of the police officers, adding that the police, in return of fire, killed five of the hoodlums.
He explained that at the end of the gun duel, the suspected kidnappers were taken to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital where doctors confirmed them dead.
“The deceased kidnappers and armed robbers are members of the armed gang responsible for all the criminal activities at Eneka and its environs.
“Their camp was destroyed and the following exhibits recovered: one AK-47 rifle, one magazine loaded with 13 live ammunition, one locally-made revolver gun, two Pump Action guns, eight different smart phones, assorted charms and armlets and three machetes”, he added.
The CP while giving further breakdown of the various achievements recorded within the period under review, said 12 cultists, four kidnap suspects, and four armed robbery suspects were arrested, while three AK-47 rifles, five locally-made pistols, three Pump Action guns, eight machetes, five magazines, 60 ammunition and 40 cartridges were recovered.
He confirmed that 12 cultists were arrested across the state, adding that the suspected cultists had engaged in senseless and mindless attacks of their perceived rival cult groups.
Belel promised that the police would continue to do their best to sustain the current onslaught against armed banditry in the state, adding that he has repositioned his men for better productivity in the war against criminals across the state.
“I have repositioned my men for better productivity, and as soon as possible, you will feel the impact of rejigged strategy”, he stated.
Fubara Dedicates Victory To Rivers Unity …As INEC Declares Guber Election Results …PDP Wins 31 State Assembly Seats
Rivers State governor-elect, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, has dedicated his victory at the March 18 governorship polls to the unity of Rivers people.
Fubara noted that the determination of the people to sustain development gave him the victory as he described the giant strides of Governor Nyesom Wike as a big shoe that he would learn to wear.
The governor-elect who reacted to his declaration as the winner of the governorship election in the state on Monday, assured Rivers people of sustaining the tempo for the betterment of the state, adding that he is prepared to work with Rivers people who believe in the new Rivers vision and with innovative ideas.
He thanked Wike for his encouragement and for finding him worthy to carry on from where he will stop, describing it as a great privilege.
He glorified God as the foundation of his accomplishments in life and further assured the party leaders and Rivers people that he would not let them down but work in same spirit that has been passed on to him by Wike.
Fubara had scored 302,614 votes to beat his closet rival, Tonye Cole of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Magnus Abe of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) who trailed behind with 95,274 and 46,981, respectively.
In same vein, the Peoples Democratic Party swept all the State House of Assembly seats except for Ahoada West that is pending a rerun in some wards.
The State Returning Officer, Prof Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, who announced the result late Monday night at the end of the two-day collation at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Head Office in Port Harcourt, had declared Fubara as the winner of the governorship election.
The PDP candidate polled 302,614 votes to defeat his closet rival Tonye Cole of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 95,274 votes while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Senator Magnus Abe, and Labour Party (LP), Beatrice Itubo came a distant third and fourth with 46,981 and 22,224 votes, respectively.
Rim-Rukeh, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Delta State, said a total of 496,852 were accredited for the March 18 governorship election out of the 3,537,190 registered voters in the state.
He explained that of the 494,604 total votes cast, 483,934 were valid while 10, 670 were rejected votes.
Fubara was anointed by the incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike who is in the last weeks of his two-term of eight years.
Fubara’s Victory Reaffirms Rivers As PDP’s Stronghold -Wike …We’ll Sustain NEW Rivers Vision -Fubara
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says the State has once again reasserted itself as one of the premier strongholds of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the country following the victory of Sir Siminialayi Fubara as the governor-elect.
The governor noted that despite evil machination of the opposition, the PDP has consistently won all the governorship elections in the State since 2015.
Governor Wike stated these shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Fubara as the winner of the 2023 governorship election on Monday night.
Fubara, who was the PDP candidate polled 302,614 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr. Tonye Cole of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who had 95,274 votes and the Social Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Senator Magnus Abe who came a distant third with 46,981.
Wike, who was visibly excited by Fubara’s resounding victory, told PDP leaders at the Government House, Port Harcourt that the State would continue to remain pivotal to the successes of the PDP.
“Whom God has blessed, no one can curse. There is nothing anyone can do about it. God at this time has said Siminalayi Fubara will be the next governor, and we give God the glory today that, that has happened.
“We won 23 local governments, 23 over 23. It has never happened. Out of the 32 State constituencies, we have won 31, it is remaining one that they said we will go for bye-election. We are ready and we will take that one.
“So, we have said to anybody who cares, Rivers State is PDP. When you annoy us, we do another thing. When we wanted to vote for the unity of the country, we showed it. We didn’t do anti-party, but we voted for unity of the country and that is what we did for one Nigeria.”
Governor Wike, who dedicated the electoral victories of the PDP in the just concluded general elections to God and the people of Rivers State, commended party stalwarts for remaining steadfast in defence of the State since he assumed office in 2015.
“Let me thank all of you for the support you have given us, how you stood firm to make sure that we defend what is Rivers State. In 2015, we did it, in 2019, we did it and in 2023, we have done it again. So, it is not surprising, God has always been with us.”
Governor Wike said he would remain eternally grateful to God because when he first contested for the office of the governor in 2015, his predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi, was the incumbent, and was antagonistic to his political aspiration.
The governor while mocking his predecessor for restoring to divisive and disgusting politicking during the electioneering period, said the resounding victory of the PDP has further diminished his political relevance in Rivers State.
“When we came out in 2015, we were not in government. There was a governor (Amaechi) then in 2015. He was the Director General (DG) of (Muhammadu) Buhari campaign. In 2019, he was a super Minister and was also DG of Buhari campaign. He never gave him (Buhari) 25 percent. 2015, he never gave him 25 percent.”
“This is 2023, and they cannot get 25 percent vote in the State, we have also defeated him. You were a super governor, we defeated you. You were a super minister, we defeated you, now, you are a super nobody, we defeated you.”
Governor Wike, has however, cautioned PDP members not to be complacent because the opposition which he likened to “enemies” are still prowling around.
In his acceptance speech, the governor-elect, Fubara, who was accompanied by his deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu, thanked God for his electoral victory and assured that his administration would consolidate on Wike’s New Rivers Vision.
“We are going to work with everybody who believes in the New Rivers Vision to continue to build better lives, good services, protection of the dignity of every Rivers man and woman, protection of the integrity of this state in all phases and to make sure that we continue to defend our party in this state.
“Our vision is simple, it is anchored on the New Rivers Vision. We are to continue, to improve and to develop more on it. I want to thank the leadership of the party and the good people of Rivers State who believed in the New Rivers vision and ensured that the vision is the right vision. On the 18th of March, 2023, they supported us, they came out in their large numbers and voted for the unity and progress of this State”.
The governor-elect assured the people of Rivers State and the leadership of the PDP that his administration would not disappoint them.
“We give God all the glory and our foundation has always been God, and we believe He is going to give us the wisdom to carry this crown, its a big one. My principal will be leaving a very big shoe, I will need a lot of stockings so my leg can fit in properly.
“So, I need to start working on it. I need all of you to continue to support us, for us to achieve and maintain the standard that the governor has already laid and established for us”, he said.
Wike Congratulates Makinde, Mohammed, Sanwo-Olu
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has congratulated Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Senator Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) on their re-election.
Wike said the re-election of Makinde, Mohammed and Sanwo-Olu through free, fair and credible elections in their respective States, is indeed a triumph for Nigeria’s democracy.
“I am excited by the cheering news of the resounding re-election of governors Makinde, Mohammed and Sanwo-Olu. I am pleased to express to Your Excellencies the most sincere fraternal congratulations.
“I look forward to us consolidating the bonds of brotherhood and friendship between our States and peoples”, he said.
Wike urged the governors to use the election for their second tenure in office to continue to create a better life, and prosperity for all their peoples.
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