* Abia govt vows to nab perpetrators, restricts Keke operations
Suspected hoodlums have set fire to the Abayi police station in Aba, freeing detained crime suspects and carting away firearms and ammunition.
The hoodlums also burnt all the operational vehicles parked within the premises of the police station.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Mr. Geoffrey Ogbonna, reportedly confirmed the incident, which happened on Tuesday.
He said the hoodlums numbering over one hundred had attacked the police station from a nearby compound with the intention of taking over the station.
The Police spokesman added that the attackers who freed some suspects in the police station threw petrol into the station before gaining entrance into the facility.
He said some policemen on duty engaged the hoodlums in a gun battle, which resulted in the death of one policeman and some casualties on the side of the hoodlums, while many of them fled with bullet injuries.
Ogbonna revealed that some of the hoodlums had been arrested by the police, while a manhunt had been launched for those at large.
He urged all health facilities in the state especially in Aba to report anybody with suspected
bullet injuries that come for treatment to the police.
He said: “Hospitals can give treatment to people with suspected bullet injures to revive them, but they should do well to report such a person to a nearby police station.”
Meanwhile, the State government has vowed to apprehend the perpetrators of the crime, and bring them to justice.
The government’s position was conveyed in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. John Okiyi-Kalu. The statement reads thus:
“The attention of Abia State government has been drawn to a mindless and cowardly attack on a police station in Aba by yet to be identified armed hoodlums in the early hours of today leading to loss of precious lives and carting away of arms and ammunition.
“We wish to assure members of the public that government is working with security agencies in the state to fish out the perpetrators of this dastardly crime and bring them to justice as quickly as possible.
“No part of Abia land will be ceded to criminals operating under any guise and we will not spare any resource in ensuring that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are brought to book in no distant time and the stolen arms and ammunition recovered completely.
“Sadly, the arms these hoodlums have carted away from law enforcement agents will most likely be used against innocent citizens. Government therefore calls on citizens to avail law enforcement agencies with vital information that will lead to the arrest of the criminals and recovery of these arms.
“We are determined to pay N1m for any information leading to the recovery of any of the stolen arms and or arrest of any suspect. Anyone with such information can contact this number: +234 803 914 8294.
“Such information will be treated with the utmost secrecy it deserves.
“Consequently, government hereby imposes a ban on Keke/Okada operations between 7pm and 7am in all major cities of the state starting from today, 23rd February, 2021.
“Once again, we call for total vigilance and prompt information from citizens to ensure the arrest and prosecution of the hoodlums. We call on banks and other vulnerable institutions to fortify security around their places of business while strongly advising all security formations in the state to remain on red alert until the situation is fully pacified.
“Law abiding citizens and visitors are advised to go about their normal businesses while maintaining vigilance as measures have been put in place to ensure their safety.
“Those attacking security agents and formations only seek to engender anarchy and fear in the minds of our people but we will not allow them to win or turn our focus away from the onerous task of rapidly developing our state. We will therefore continue to support security agencies with whatever they need to foil the agenda of the hoodlums.
“While we implore community leaders to be vigilant, we urge parents and guardians to take more interest in the activities of their children and wards to avoid their falling prey to criminally minded individuals,” he concluded