By Ori Martins
There is palpable fear in Imo as residents and indigenes of the state do not know where, when and who will be the next victim of the next gunmen attack.
About 48 hours ago, gunmen attacked a police station in Agwa, Oguta Local Government Area, killing four police officers, including two female cops on duty.
It was alleged that the attackers headed for Agwa police station about 30 minutes before midnight in two Sienna cars and a tipper, frontally opened sporadic fire on the police station. Since the bandits were said to possess more sophisticated weapons than the police corps at the station, they easily outgunned the men and women on duty.
An eyewitness account narrated that the attackers broke into the station by hitting down a portion of the perimeter fence with a tipper, went into the premises in droves, set a parked vehicle ablaze and equally attempted razing down the entire station but only a part of it went up in flames.
The account equally confirmed that the hoodlums traced a bike operator in the area who they allegedly labeled an informant and murdered him in cold blood.
According to him,” They killed two female officers, one inspector and a new intake. Nobody knows why the Okada rider was killed . They also burnt a vehicle and a part of the police station was set ablaze.
The Business Hallmark contact link revealed that “The gory climax of the heinous crime was the assailants’ brutality on the female police officer who they set her lifeless body ablaze. I think among their victims were an inspector and a new intake. Till now, we don’t know why the killers carried out such a dastard act”.
The police spokesperson for the Imo State Command, Micheal Abattam, confirmed the incident even as the commissioner of police in the state, Mohammed Ahmed Barde visited the scene to see things for himself.
The traditional ruler of the community, His Royal Highness (Dr) I.O. Asor, while receiving the CP in his palace, urged the police and other security agencies to ensure the protection of lives and property of his community.
The Agwa killings are the third in three weeks in Imo, bringing to the number of death toll to more than 20 of those who have lost their lives in the various attacks by bandits in the state.
About three weeks ago, there was confusion on the identities of 14 youths who were killed in Otulu community in Awomamma, Oru East. The Imo State Government and the DSS claimed those killed were bandits, while the community faulted the government and DSS’ stance, insisting those killed were law abiding members of the society who were returning from a wedding function.
Within the week, there were seven Nigeriens who were allegedly killed in Orogwe community of Owerri West LGA. Put together, alongside those killed in the Agwa attack, the toll now rises to about 20 people who have been killed in Imo State in three weeks.
In spite of repeated assurances by the police on providing adequate protection in Imo State, more and more killings, resulting to deaths of innocent and harmless youths, even sometimes of police officers, the police in Imo State have failed to either stop the killings or nab the killers.