africa

Gunmen raze Abia police station, free detainees


From Okey Sampson, Umuahia

Gunmen continued their attack on police formations and other facilities in Abia State continued, on Wednesday night, when they razed parts of Bende Local Government Area headquarters and the adjourning police station.

Reports from Bende said the gunmen stormed the area in the night of Wednesday, shot into the air to scare away people before starting the operation that lasted for about 45 minutes.

It was gathered  that during the operation, one policeman was shot in the leg, while the entire building was razed down.

A source said suspects who where detained at the station were freed by the gunmen, while two vehicles and three motorcycles were destroyed at the police station.

The source further disclosed that after the police station operation, the gunmen move over to the nearby local government headquarters, where they burnt the council’s hall.

The gunmen were said to have equally set ablaze the council’s plant house, burning all the generators to ashes.

The incident was said to have thrown the town into confusion as many residents could not sleep with two eyes closed throughout Wednesday night.

As at yesterday morning, there were reports of heavy presence of soldiers who had arrived the area to restore normalcy.

Wednesday night’s attack brings to four the number of such public facilities that have been attacked in the state within three days.

Spokesman of the state command, SP Godfrey Ogbonna, who confirmed the attacks.

He said the hoodlums later released criminal suspects, who were detained at the station.

“They also burnt two vehicles, including the Divisional Police Officer’s Highlander Jeep, and three motorcycles, parked at the station,” he said.

Ogbonna said that it was not clear how the bandits arrived at the place in their numbers.

“We do not know yet how they all gathered to execute the attack at the station. May be they parked their vehicles away from their target and walked through footpaths to the place.”

He said the command had embarked on full investigations into the incident and other recent gunmen attacks in different parts of the state.

Meanwhile, Abia governor and Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Orji Kalu, has described the attack on the Bende police station as cruel and wicked.

He said the perpetrators of the barbaric act must be identified and brought to book.

He said: “The attack on Bende police station in Abia state is totally condemnable. The burning of the police station was needless and unwarranted.

“The sponsors of the evil act must be apprehended to face the wrath of the law.

“The security agencies play a critical role in the sustenance of Nigeria’s growing democracy and as such, they do not deserve ill-treatment.

“I implore the people of Bende local government area of Abia state to be vigilant and peaceful.”

Kalu equally condemned the attack of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) office in Ohafia LGA of Abia state.




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