*Gunmen shoot 2 policemen dead in Rivers
By Chesa Chesa (Abuja), Onuminya Innocent (Sokoto), and Blessing Ibunge (Port Harcourt)
A District Head and scores of others have been killed by bandits in Gandi village in Rabah Local Government Area of Sokoto state.
The police authorities, which confirmed the incident, said the casualty level was yet to be ascertained.
The State Command Public Relations Officer, Cordelia Nwawe, told The AUTHORITY that the Commissioner of Police, Murtala Mani and a medical team had moved to the scene to ascertain the level of killings.
Nwawe appealed to the residents to remain calm as the situation would soon be brought under control.
On June 12, a clash between local vigilantes and bandits left many dead in Issa Local Government Area.
The state Secretary of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Kabiru Aliyu, urged the state government to step up security to prevent the scenario in Zamfara State playing out in Sokoto.
*Buhari condemns killings in Sokoto
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the killing of several people, including a district head, in and around Gandi viallage in Rabah council by bandits.
He said: “This wanton violence against innocent people won’t be tolerated by this government, and we are working round the clock to identify the people sponsoring these heartless attacks.”
In a statement on Wednesday night, Buhari said: “It is curious why any group of mass murderers would be targeting and killing innocent people for no just reason.
“Make no mistake about it, my administration remains committed to security as one of its core objectives, and any attempt to test our will by any group of anarchists and trouble makers will be met with equal force.”
He assured Nigerians that “identifying and defeating these callous killers is receiving priority from this administration, and we shall spare no effort in tracing the root of this evil, especially their sources of funding and arms.”
The President promised that although these hit-and-run gangs of mass murderers were using unconventional tact, they would eventually be defeated.
“This administration will not allow any group of barbarians and criminals hold the country hostage and destroy life without consequences.
“I wish to assure all Nigerians that their security is receiving the greatest attention from this administration and there is no compromise in this commitment. I appeal for your patience while my security teams crack their brains to put an end to this horrendous violence,” Buhari added.
*Gunmen kill 2 policemen, one other in Rivers
Residents of Ozuoba-Rumuosi link road in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State now live in fear following the killing of two police officers who were on duty in the area by gunmen.
The AUTHORITY gathered that the victims whose names were not disclosed were killed in the late hours of Tuesday, and their guns stolen by the gunmen.
It was also learnt that the incident happened at the point where the officers mounted a road block to check criminality in the area.
Sources at the scene of the crime disclosed that the police had increased their check on vehicles following the recent killing of some youths in the area.
Our correspondent reported that most shops in the area were closed yesterday after the killings by the unknown gunmen on Tuesday.
It was gathered that the gunmen ambushed the officers and opened fire on them, killing two while the third o fought back and killed one of the gunmen.
“The policemen were near the Rumuosi market checking vehicle particulars as usual in the evening before the boys came and immediately shot at them and we ran away. It was later that we heard that two officers and one of the gunmen were killed in the shooting,” sources said.
The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed the killings in Port Harcourt, said one of the criminals in the gang also lost his life in the shootout.
Omoni said that the criminals opened fire on the police personnel who were on stop-and-search operations Tuesday night along the road, killing two and carting away their guns.
Also, men who appeared in police uniform have shot dead a middle aged man at Total Street, along Rumuolumeni-Iwofe Road in Port Harcourt.
It was learned that the uniform men on patrol van had invaded the area and killed their target.