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Rivers Election Violence Claims 9, Soldier Killed 2 Months to Wedding

The Nigerian Army has confirmed the death of one officer in a gunfight with hoodlums during election duty in Abonnema, Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The army authorities said troops also killed six alleged political thugs in the encounter.

The late officer, Lieutenant Luka Ishaya Kurmi, was reportedly preparing to wed his fiancee, Alheri Ganya Bissa, on April 20 in Kebbi State.

It was learnt that the attack, which was pre-planned, occurred between Charles and Bob-Manuel’s compounds in Abonnema Town about 1am on the February 23, 2019.

A statement signed by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa reads: “Information reaching Headquarters Nigerian Army revealed that troops of 6 Division on a legitimate duty of protecting lives and properties of law abiding citizens in Abonnema, Akuku Toru LGA, Rivers State, were attacked by some hoodlums.

“The pre-planned attack occurred between Charles and Bob-Manuel’s compounds in Abonnema town at about 1pm on February 23, 2019. The attackers barricaded a major road into the town and laid an ambush in the adjoining built-up areas from where they opened fire on our unsuspecting troops when they attempted to remove the barricade.

“The gallant troops fought their way through the siege and in the process killed six of the assailants. However, we lost a lieutenant in the encounter.

“Preliminary investigation indicated that one Roland Sekibo – the Chairman Akuku Toru LGA, Omodo – the CSO Akuku Toru LGA and Kenneth of Kula currently at large were the masterminds of the unexpected/ unprovoked attack.

“To this end, the NA strongly hereby states that perpetrators of this ambush will be made to face the full wrath of the law.”

Also in Asarama, Andoni Local Government Area of the state, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former council chairman, Mowan Etete, and his elder brother were killed on Saturday morning by unknown gunmen suspected to be political thugs.

Etete was a former aide to Governor Nyesom Wike on Political Matters before he defected to the APC.

Confirming Etete’s death, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Nnamdi Omoni, said a group of gunmen had scaled the fence of the deceased’s building, gained entrance into the house and killed him and his elder brother.

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