Gunmen on Display
Tragedy struck in the early hours of January 2nd, 2017 in Omoku town in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State when gunmen attacked returning church members from a cross over service to usher in the New Year 2018 with guns shooting over 26 persons in the process. Out of those shot by the hoodlums over 15 persons were confirmed dead and about 12 more sustained various injuries and are currently hospitalised.
The exact number of those killed in the attack is still being debated with many news media giving conflicting figures between 14 – 20 persons. The Public Relation Officer of the Rivers State Police Command DSP Nnamdi Omoni stated that the police are aware of the incident but however failed to give the exact number of casualties. According to him “I can confirm the incident but I cannot for now confirmed the exact number of persons killed”
It was disclosed by the police command that the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations and other Tactical Heads have been mobilized there to restore peace. Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police Ahmed Zaki has launched a man hunt for the perpetrators of the dastard acts with a determination to bring have to book.
“When the DCP and the team conclude their investigations, we will know the number of people involved” added the Police PRO who also affirmed that the command will not rest on its oars until the culprits are arrested and prosecuted. Details of the scary and brutal attack are scanty but sources from the communities around the scenes of the incident disclosed that the gunmen operated coordinated attacks in two different locations in kirigani and Oboh axis of Omoku.
Meanwhile, condemnations from different personalities and a cross-section of Rivers state people continued to pour in, in reaction to the gruesome and devilish act. Governor Nyesom Wike has already expressed shocked and sadness over the unwarranted attack on hapless churchgoers while calling on the police to fish out the perpetrators.
It would be recalled that the Omoku town and its environs has been a flashpoint in cult activities as well as having a high rate of crime and killings thanks to the prevalence of different cult groups each supported by political elites from the area who are embroiled in a show of supremacy between them.
Governor Wike of Rivers State
According to Dakuku Peterside the Managing Director of NIMASA and one time governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress APC in the state,
“This is yet another set of deaths in a local government that was held hostage by cult groups claiming supremacy and allegedly enjoying patronage and support from some politicians. It is highly regrettable that while other parts of the state were in celebration mood, the people of ONELGA were mourning the passing away of their beloved in a most gruesome manner”