*6 persons, including APC leader killed, whereabouts another victim unknown
*30-mang gang attack Ikwere council boss, others at a PDP function
*Police launch manhunt for untamed gangsters
By Davies Iheamnachor
ISIOKPO — RESIDENTS of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Rivers State, are horror-struck at the impunity of a known criminal gang that has allegedly abducted and butchered over six inhabitants in the last few weeks without trace and arrest by security agents.
The gang numbering about 30 publicly attacked the chairman and chief security officer of the local government, Samuel Nwanosike, at political campaign by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, wounded some party faithful and destroyed property worth millions of naira.
On November 11, the gangsters took hostage, the Organsing Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Samuel Wanjoku and another member of the party, Moses Ogu.
Six days after, a search party found Wanjoku’s body at a forest in the area, while Ogu’s whereabouts remain unknown until the time of this report.
Council boss identifies gangsters
Nwanosike, who confirmed to reporters at Isiokpo, headquarters of the council, that Ikwerre was under siege, listed the names of four members of the gang, but the police have been unable to track them down.
Two of them go by the sobriquet, “School Boy” and “Gunboat,” and reportedly carry out their kidnapping exploits on Omerelu-Imo State Road, Apani-Ubima, Elele-Isiokpo roads.
The chairman said that School Boy had been declared wanted by the Rivers State government before now, but the gangsters move freely in the area.
How they attacked us
On the attack on him at a campaign in Ipo/Omadieme area, he said: “We (PDP, members) went for a ward-to-ward PVC sensitisation in Ipo and the boys numbering over 30 invaded the ground.
“They opened fire at us, destroyed property and wounded many people whose faith for survival we do not know. These boys operate at ease without fear. We believe that somebody is giving them support and that is what we want the President to investigate and find out.”
Police hunt for prowling gang —PPRO
Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Rivers Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed the attack, said it was carried out by a yet to identified gunmen and they injured three persons, while no life was lost.
CSP Omoni, who also spoke on Wanjoku death, said the police were aware of the killing and decomposing remains of the victim were in the mortuary, adding that the command had launched a manhunt for the killers, but had arrested no suspect yet.
In separate attacks on Aluu community, November 16 and 17, hoodlums yet again killed over four people. The gunmen stormed Omuike and boundary communities in Aluu after a popular wrestling festival in the area and killed the victims.
The police, however, said it had mobilised and restored peace in the area vowing to stamp out crime in the local government.