Unknown gunmen on Saturday stormed Banigo Isile-Ogono community in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State, shot sporadically and abducted several persons in a gory operation.
Some of the abducted victims are identified as Sunny Hart, Thomas Allison and Theophilus Ibiama, among several others.
Chairman of Bonny Local Government Council, David Irimagha and lawmaker representing Bonny Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Abinye Blessing Pepple, escaped being killed in the attack.
The incident happened during a funeral at Finiapiri-Ama, Banigo Isile-Ogono community in Bonny Local Government Area of the State.
While the LGA Chairman and the State lawmaker escaped, the leader of the Bonny Local Government Legislative Assembly, Miriam Hart who was among the guests was unlucky.
Miriam Hart, it was gathered, was hit by bullets and now battling for her life at an undisclosed hospital after sustaining gunshot injuries.
Eyewitness told reporters that, “Pepple, Irimagha, and Hart were among guests who were in the community to attend the funeral of late Kenneth Kalada Banigo when the gunmen who were masked struck.
“The lawmaker, local government chairman, together with other guests tried to get to the waterfront to board their boats and escape.
“The gunmen later abducted a number of persons and took them away into the nearby creeks. The matter has been reported to security agencies,” the eyewitness said.
Kingsley Jumbo, Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Pepple in a statement said, “The Rivers State lawmaker representing Bonny Constituency, Hon Abinye Blessing Pepple and the Executive Chairman of Bonny Local Government, Hon. David Rogers Irimagha earlier today escaped being abducted by masked gunmen.
“The unfortunate incident happened at Finapiri Ama (Amauda) village in Banigo Ishilegono where they attended the burial ceremony of an elder statesman in Bonny Kingdom, Late Amaopusenibo Kenneth Miebaradima Kalada Banigo when masked gunmen arrived and began shooting sporadically from the jetty.”
The Rivers State Police Command is yet to react to the development.
With insecurity growing in Nigeria, a Yoruba leader, Gani Adams, had suggested that Yorubas should now be allowed to own gun so that they can protect themselves.
Making the suggestion in a state, Gani Adams said, “The intel also revealed that about 500 power bikes and assorted armour belonging to the terrorists have been physically sighted along the abandoned Lusada route moving towards Sokoto, from Igbo-ora in Oyo State.
“The Council, therefore, enjoin all Southwest governors, as well as the Governors of Kwara and Kogi States, to emulate the Governor of Benue State, Mr. Samuel Ortom, by directing their citizens to apply for gun license for self-defense against the marauding terrorists and killer herdsmen.”
Also, in another suggestion on how to protect Nigerians, a Political Scientist, Malam Abdul-Rahoof Bello, urged President Buhari to urgently enlist the spiritual support of African witches and wizards, to combat the endemic challenges of insecurity and corruption.
According to the former University Lecturer, the time was ripe and right for Buhari to apply this unorthodox method of African native intelligence in warfare.
This, he said is to defend Nigeria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty against the insurrection of Boko Haram, ritual killings and systemic corruption.
He noted that the government had continued to apply the same methods that have yielded no positive results over and over again, even with the deafening prayers by both Muslims and Christians in the country.
However, he queried why the President had refused to fumigate the nation’s security architecture in obedience to public outcry to allow for fresh ideas?
He decried the worsening security situation and the systemic corruption that had become a thump arthritis dwarfing the landmark achievements of Mr President and campaign material for the opposition group to blackmail the governing party.
The APC stakeholder advised the President not to rest, retreat nor surrender to the forces of darkness in religious killings, ritual killings, ethnic cleansing, kidnapping, corruption and all other centrifugal tendencies, threatening Nigeria’s corporate existence.