Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike says no amount of intimidation will make the state succumb to any secessionist agenda.
The governor stated this in a reaction to the overnight attacks on police formations in Rivers State, after presiding over an emergency security meeting on Saturday.
In a statement signed by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, Governor Wike condemned the attacks by gunmen who he said “are bent on plunging Nigeria into another unwarranted crisis.”
He also expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the policemen and the Rivers State Police Command and assured residents to be calm, adding that “the Security Council has taken measures to secure the State.”
Seven police officers were killed in an overnight attack on three police formations in two Local Government Areas.
According to a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Nnamdi Omoni, the attack which took place at 8:30pm on Friday was carried out by “unknown gunmen who drove in two branded Hillux vans.”
Omoni said two policemen were killed by the assailants at a special checkpoint between Choba community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area and Emohua Local Government Area with a private car belonging to one of the policemen set ablaze.
He said the hoodlums then launched a second attack on a police station in Rumuji, a town along the Bayelsa axis of the East west road in Emohua Local Government Area, killing two more policemen and set a police patrol van ablaze.
He said the third attack was launched on another police station in a community called Elimgbu in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, where three additional police officers were killed.
The Rivers State Police Spokesman, however, said during the attack at Rumuji, the officers at the police station were able to put up a “strong resistance” and in the process, “fatally wounded two of the attackers who died on the spot”.
Omoni added that, in Elimgbu where three policemen were killed in the third attack, the officers there also engaged the attackers in a gunfight which forced the hoodlums to “abandone their their bullet ridden Hilux van, while they escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds with a snatched siena bus.”
He noted that no police station was burnt during the attacks, but five assault rifles were lost to the gunmen.
The police spokesperson assured that the Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka has ordered for a thorough investigation into the attacks after visiting the scenes of the incidents on Saturday morning.
These attacks come less than one month after unknown gunmen killed five soldiers, three customary personnel and some police officers in tow attacks in Ikwerre Local Government Area and Abua/Odual Local Government Area.
Those attacks in April prompted the Rivers State Security Council, headed by Governor Nysom Wike to impose a nightime curfew at the entry and exit points of the state from 8pm to 6am and also announced the restriction of movement within the state between 10pm and 6am Daly, till further notice.