Omoku, the capital of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area of Rivers state was once again the centre of a tragedy brought about by gang related violence as unidentified gunmen shot and killed at least 21 persons returning from Crossover Service on New Year’s Day.
For several years, Omoku has been a hotbed for cultism and gang related violence including beheading, arson, and other crimes. In November 2017, one of the most dreaded militant leaders in the area, Ejima Igwe Dibia (aka Don Wanni” was killed by security agents, but it doesn’t appear to have solved the problem following the New Year murders.
We however cannot confirm which group was responsible for the New Year day killings which occurred at two different locations in the town – Kirigani and Oboh axis of Aligwu community in Omoku.
In all, up to 26 people were shot with 14 dying on the spot and several others losing their lives in the hospital.
The Rivers State Police Command, through its PRO: “The situation is unfortunate. I can confirm the incident but at the moment, we cannot confirm the number of casualties. The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations and other tactical heads have been mobilised there to restore peace.
“The Commissioner of Police (Zaki Ahmed) has launched a manhunt for the bandits to ensure they are arrested and prosecuted. When the DCP and the teams there conclude, we will know the total number of people involved.”
Rivers APC 2015 governorship candidate and current Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Dakuku Peterside: “My heart goes to the people of ONELGA and the immediate families of the deceased. This is an act that must be condemned. The good people of Omoku have suffered enough and this has dealt a further blow on their sufferings,” he said, adding that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, lacks the capacity to tackle the state’s security challenge.
“I have said it time and again that Governor Wike lacks the capacity and competence to guarantee the safety and security of the Rivers people.
“It is unfortunate that over 1,000 persons have been killed in questionable circumstances in the last two years under his watch. He should stop playing politics with the lives of Rivers people and face governance.
“Since the governor is not rising to the occasion to show competence, we will henceforth partner with all relevant security agencies to bring peace, law and order to ONELGA and other parts of Rivers State.
“Governor Wike can rise above his partisan politics and display the hallmark of a statesman by openly condemning this murderous act and stop at nothing to arrest the criminals,” Peterside said.