SAMUEL OGIDAN; IDONGESIT ASHAMERI
The senator representing Edo Central in the National Assembly, Clifford Ordia, on Monday escaped death as suspected bandits opened fire on his convoy while returning to Abuja from his hometown in Edo State.
The senator was attacked twice by bandits along Okenne-Lokoja and Lokoja-Abaji roads.
Narrating his ordeal to newsmen, Ordia, who heads the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, explained that during the exchange of fire between the criminals and security officers attached to him, three policemen sustained bullet wounds.
He said one of the wounded policemen is in a critical condition, but responding to treatment in one of the hospitals in Abuja.
The lawmaker further explained that his personal vehicle was riddled with bullets, though he was lucky to have escaped unhurt, adding, “I’m seriously traumatised by the experience.
“We were coming from Edo State, somewhere between Okenne and Lokoja, when we met these suspected bandits. They opened fire on my convoy. The gallant policemen had to immediately return fire.
“The other security vehicle behind had to immediately join them and they were able to repel the suspected bandits. During the exchange, three of the policemen sustained gun wounds. One of them was critically injured. We had to immediately rush them to a Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja, Kogi State.
“They did their best and was able to stabilise them. I’d to immediately put a call across the Federal Medical Centre in Abuja to be on standby. One of the policemen had a bullet lodged close to his liver.”
He further said: “We met another setback around Abaji. There was traffic because of the incidence and because we had to save the lives of the wounded policemen, we decided to make a move. They opened fire on us. Some vigilantes had to join the policemen and they were chased into the bush.
“That was how I survived that attack. If you see all my vehicles, you’ll see how the bullets damaged them. But I’m glad that we all survived. I must salute the gallantry of our policemen. If given the right equipment, they can do a lot and protect Nigerians.”
The lawmaker, has, however, called on the Federal Government to immediately initiate moves to restructure the security architecture of the country.
Warning that no one is safe anymore, Ordia also cautioned that something urgent must be done to restore order to every part of the country and protect the lives of every Nigerian.
Gunmen Kill Two Police Officers, Burn Patrol Van In A/Ibom
Similarly, gunmen have again killed two policemen manning a checkpoint at Urua Inyang, headquarters of Ika Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The armed hoodlums, according to a member of the community, stormed the checkpoint with several motorcycles and shot the two officers dead, while others fled, leaving the hoodlums to seize their riffles and set their patrol van ablaze.
Confirming the attack, the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Odiko Macdon, in a statement made available to Daily Independent in Uyo on Wednesday, said, “On 27/4/2021, at about 7:00p.m, armed men on motorcycles, heading towards Ika Divisional Headquarters vicinity, armed with AK-47 and other dangerous weapons with the intent to attack the Division and set it ablaze met stiff resistance as the Divisional Police Officer and other officers on ground fought gallantly and repelled the attackers who took to their heels with possible bullet wounds.
“Unfortunately, before heading towards the station to attack it, they ambushed and killed a woman police Corporal, one Esther Akpan, who had just closed from duty and was on her way home in company of a Police Special Constabulary, one Isonuyo Effiong Paul, and burnt the Volvo vehicle attached to the Division.
“The Commissioner of Police, who was at the Division for an on-the-spot assessment, condoled with the families of the slain female officer and the Special Constabulary.
“He commended the gallantry exhibited by the DPO and his men and was also very appreciative of the role played by the youths of Ika, while urging them to continue partnering the police in crime fighting. He has, however, launched a discreet investigation with the aim of bringing perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice”.
The latest killing brought to five the number of police operatives killed in the line of duty in Akwa Ibom by unknown gunmen, while four others were declared missing in recent times.
Two Inspectors were set ablaze and a leader of the Quick Response Squad (QRS), a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), was also shot dead while leading the squad to confront armed hoodlums in their base in Ikot Akpan in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
Nigeria Can’t Afford Another Civil War — Osinbajo
Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Nigeria cannot afford another civil war because it will not augur well for the country.
Osinbajo said this at an interactive forum of All Progressives Congress (APC) Anambra governorship aspirants organised by the state chapter of APC Patriots in Abuja.
“The thing about the kind of conflict in this part of the world, developing countries, is that it is usually a war without end.
“Everyone who thinks he has some monies stored up somewhere will eventually run out of money.
“Everyone who think he can go and hide somewhere, won’t even find a place to hide, at the end, everyone will suffer.
“Even if you don’t suffer, parents, children, young and old people and relations will suffer. We cannot afford a war in this country, we can’t afford it,” he said.
Osinbajo said the political elite must rise up to the challenge by speaking the truth and taking actions to address the situation in the country.
“I pray that our country will never know conflict, but I know that every conflict is as a result of elite failure to speak up the truth and tell the truth to their communities.
“At the end of the day, it is the political elite that determine what happens in every society, keeping quite could lead to a more dangerous situation,” he said.
The vice president said that the elite could make a great difference just by the words they speak.
“If we don’t speak up against disunity, if we keep quiet and remain under the radar, the enemies of peace and those who want to promote disunity will have their ways.
“And when this happens, we will find ourselves running helter skelter,” Osinbajo said.
He, therefore, urged political elite in the country to always speak up and stand for the interest of the country and the general public.
Osinbajo assured the APC aspirants that the leadership of the party would ensure a level playing field for them at the primary election slated for June to ensure that the best aspirant emerged as the candidate.
He, however, charged them to work in unity and commitment to the party.
“No one politician can win an election all by himself. I also want to advise you against the winner takes all syndrome,” he said.
The event was the first interactive forum of the Anambra APC governorship aspirants aimed at preparing ground for the party’s victory at the November 6 governorship poll.
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